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Osaka Prefecture to allow children to bring smartphones to school

26 Comments

The Osaka prefectural government has decided to allow public elementary and junior high school students to bring mobile phones with them to school, beginning this April.

The decision comes after the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology said Tuesday it was reviewing its policy that bans elementary and junior school students from bringing smartphones to school, Fuji TV reported. The policy dates back to 2009 when the ministry set a guideline that bringing smartphones to school should be prohibited in general because they could be disruptive to educational activities.

However, following an earthquake in June of last year, parents complained that they were unable to contact their children to confirm their safety.

Education Minister Masahiko Shibayama said the ministry will consider adjusting its policy to adapt to changes in the social environment and situations surrounding young students. He said students will be required to keep the phones in their bags during classes.

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26 Comments
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However, following an earthquake in June of last year, parents complained that they were unable to contact their children to confirm their safety.

I can understand their motive but if the kids put them in a basket before the lesson, won't that suffice? I don't like the idea (even though I would've probably done it myself) that kids can touch the phones during class. Not a good development.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

My 11 y.o.granddaughter brings her iPhone to school everyday, but it stays in her Randoseru during class. She wouldn't think of using it in school. Once school is out, well that's another story entirely.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I don't like the idea (even though I would've probably done it myself) that kids can touch the phones during class.

The article says that they would be required to keep them in their bags (or, presumably, otherwise out of access) during classes.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I just had a conversation with my children about this subject with the youngest who is in JHS, saying that while the school bans the use of phones/smartphones there are students who use smartphones in the toilets to play games, students will ask the teacher if they can go to the toilet and they spend up to 20 minutes being absent from the lesson.

My eldest who attends highschool is permited to take a smartphone to school, but it must be turned off and not used in the school grounds, but explained that one teacher who worked at a different highschool had real problems with students using phones during lessons and this use resulted in them becoming disruptive as more students took up the use of phones during school time.

While there are positives in students having access to smartphones, the negatives also need to be considered.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

In other countries teachers and schools are desperate to keep phones out of the classroom.

Not Australia. They have a bring your own device policy in the elementary schools, where kids are taught to responsibly use devices for learning.

Which in my eyes is the correct way to go - we need to prepare the kids for the real world.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

However, following an earthquake in June of last year, parents complained that they were unable to contact their children to confirm their safety.

Right, and anyone who has lived here during any major earthquakes will intimately know that having a cell phone and actually being able to USE it are two different things altogether!

During the Tohoku earthquake cellphones were unable to connect even down here in Okinawa!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As long as they stay out of sight during class, who cares if the kids have a phone in their bags.

In an emergency (as long as cell towers are working as someone else pointed out), it would be a lot more efficient for families to call their children directly than having hundreds of parents trying to call the school to contact their children while the staff has much more important things to do, like keep their children safe.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

My daughter has been a nightmae since she started using a smartphone.Has turned into a zombie.Like a drug addict when you stop access to it if she has been rude.Cant imagine letting kids have them in class would be a great idea

2 ( +3 / -1 )

And giant strides backward begins. Schools should generate a field that makes cell phone use impossible on school grounds.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Joe blow:

Yes, addictive to all as well. Since children are required to be in school, the smartphone ban for adults should be equally repressive. No smartphones outside of home. Equality.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

 They have a bring your own device policy in the elementary schools, where kids are taught to responsibly use devices for learning.

Here is the problem though, there is no "responsible" way of using them here. Everyone is on their own.

In a country that supposedly likes to pride itself on the "group mentality" (major myth) the use of smart phones and lack of manners shown is incredible!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Here is the problem though, there is no "responsible" way of using them here. Everyone is on their own.

Why not? What makes Japan different from Australia that they are able to responsibly use them there, while Japan does not have that ability?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why not? What makes Japan different from Australia that they are able to responsibly use them there, while Japan does not have that ability?

Like it or not, pure respect. Japanese kids dont "respect" their teachers, their parents, adults, etc.

Not to mention the "group" mentality issues. EVERYONE has one and uses one, do I DO TOO!

People can crawl into their own little worlds and tune out everything and everyone else. It's easier than learning to actually communicate with those around them!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The school ok'd it because she takes a bus to school, and because we're her guardians and we both work.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Plus, we installed a GPS locator app, with her knowledge.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Bad move.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Sadly, the cons outweigh the pros when it comes to kids and smartphones. They spend almost all their time on them playing video games or checking Instagram. Some students are good and won’t use them in class, but bratty students won’t think anything of it, and God save you if you take it away. These are the kind who’ll verbally assault their teacher (remember the kid who got KO’d by the teacher last month for fighting about having his against-school-rules earring taken away?)

Smartphones are highly addictive, especially for the young, and even stunt their mental development.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This won't end well.

In other countries teachers and schools are desperate to keep phones out of the classroom.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Many kids here have shut out their parents completely, both shouty lecturing types of parents, and sympathetic hopeful kinds of parents. The boss kids even turn other kids against their parents. They create a watertight secretive group world of their own. By extension the teacher is another kind of parent, to be shut out. This makes carrying a full class though very difficult, even with mostly respectful kids, and just one or two non-cooperative ones, eyes down, one hand under the desk, peeking at something, who will not let go of his/her smartphone. The phones need to be on manner mode and kept away from the desks, e.g. at the back of the room.

In Australia or the US by contrast there is much more daily communication between parents and children, more open channels.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Osaka prefectural government has decided to allow public elementary and junior high school students to bring mobile phones with them to school.

 He said students will be required to keep the phones in their bags during classes.

Yeah, this will end "very" well! Have these people seen kids with their phones? Or should I say phones with their kids? Because they are completely addicted to their phones and its hard to concentrate on ANYTHING knowing that your addictive item is only feet away from you.

If they were to go ahead with this idea, I think they should have a phone locker system where if the locker is opened outside of the designated locked phone time, a loud alarm will sound. Just my 2

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just my 2円!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Great way to cheat on exams or smart watches hehe

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Osaka has always been the most progressive and respected prefecture in Japan. Osaka firms built Tokyo in the Meiji era, and Osaka marchants industrialized the whole country in the past.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

You could incorporate smartphones into,the lesson...lookups, research, interactive class games, etc.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Why smartphones though? There are better options than unneeded distractions that will only cause trouble.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Kids should have this right. Just not in class.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

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