Handphones will disrupt class

Thursday July 19, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/7/19/focus/11687942&sec=focus

I WONDER how the Education Ministry came up with the decision to allow students to bring handphones and other electronic gadgets to school, beginning January next year. The announcement took teachers by surprise.

Here, we the teachers, are trying our best to curb indiscipline among students and now they will be allowed to bring in handphones and other gadgets to school.

I wonder whether the ministry studied this issue thoroughly before making the decision.

I agree that it’s a virtual world out there, but do we have the capabilities of ensuring that this new idea can yield positive results? I doubt it.

Will students pay attention to teachers? I am pretty sure they will be busy tweeting, using Facebook or texting away.

For me, a teacher, this whole idea stinks.

At present, teachers are pressured looking into many aspects of teaching and learning.

On top of this we have to deal with indisciplined students.

With handphones there will be more problems.

Firstly, although there will be guidelines on its usage, what assurance can the ministry give that these devices will not be abused?

Quite a number of students wouldn’t give a care whether a teacher is teaching or not and will proceed to use the phone when the teacher is not facing them.

Even if the teacher sees them using the phone, do you think confiscating it will justify his action? I doubt it.

Students are most of the time right and the parents will be the first to find fault with the teachers.

We will definitely become scapegoats.

“Teacher-bashing” has become a favourite past-time among some parents.

Has the ministry considered the position of other students? There will be peer pressure.

The rich students will be bringing the latest and most expensive gadgets and this will indirectly affect the poor students.

Bragging will come in. Jealousy will crop up. This may even result in students ganging up and fights can break out.

We are providing opportunities for unhealthy competition.

Students from poor backgrounds will feel inferior if they do not own a good phone. In fact, some cannot even afford a second-hand phone.

This will lead to an unhealthy environment in school. When students bring in expensive phones, who is to guarantee that they will not be stolen?

Are the teachers going to be responsible for something we didn’t ask for? I am sure the parents will start blaming the school for lack of security.

Come on, how does anyone expect the teachers to also play the role of cops?

With the unhealthy competition, tension can be created among students, and even between teachers and students.

There will be less communication and we will be at the losing end where friendship is concerned.

Every student will be obsessed with his handphone and will have no time for friends.

Please don’t say that students will not be allowed to use their phones during lessons. It is easier said than done.

Do not even suggest that phones should be kept in a safe place in the school. How many phones can the school handle? When it comes to examinations, how are the invigilators going to cope?

I am very sure that handphones will not be allowed into the exam halls but what if every candidate brought a phone and left it with the chief invigilator? Who is going to be responsible if the phones are missing?

We must also not forget that the handphones and other gadgets can do more harm in the form of unwanted materials.

How do you expect teachers to monitor the students’ access to pornographic materials?

How are the teachers to know what the students are surfing during recess and at times other than in the classroom.

If and when the school authorities take action against students, who misuse their hand phones, what guarantee can the ministry give that teachers will not be hauled up by the parents.

How safe are we from legal action?

I strongly believe that the ministry should not even consider allowing students to bring handphones to school.

JAYARAJ K.G.S.

Sitiawan, Perak