PHONES IN SCHOOLS: Merits outweigh the risks

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I AM a father of three children who are in primary school and I strongly support the proposal to allow pupils to bring handphones to school.

All schools today are heavily guarded areas. We can only enter with permission. I support the security measures as they are for our children’s own good, but they make it difficult for us to interact with our children during school hours. I’ve always wished that they had a handphone with them so that I could contact them if the need arises.

Now, here’s a proposal that has stirred up some debate. In my opinion, it should be implemented fast. Times have changed.

How can the proposal be implemented? Here are some of my suggestions:

HAVE specific guidelines on the type of phone that is allowed. For example, a basic handphone for making calls and receiving text messages, without camera and memory slot. It must have a silent mode.

ALL devices must be registered. School authorities could seize phones which are not registered with the school.

HAVE standard regulation. For example, if a phone rings in class, after several warnings, the phone should be seized. Return the SIM card to the pupil.

CONDUCT spot checks.

For those opposing, just remember all issues have pros and cons.

We can accept things that are generally right or useful. We would never condone smoking in school but we should always support Internet use there.

The Internet is an overwhelmingly useful tool, but it, too, can be abused. So why can’t we accept the use of handphones?

Some might argue that it will cause students to compete unhealthily among each other. A basic handphone without camera and memory slots costs RM80 or less. What is there to boast about?

If we really care about competition, then we should talk about the motorcycles belonging to some students. Some are better than those owned by their teachers. Why aren’t parents fussing about that?

 

Mire Mohd, Kuala Lumpur

Read more: PHONES IN SCHOOLS: Merits outweigh the risks – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/phones-in-schools-merits-outweigh-the-risks-1.114602#ixzz224oosc00