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No cell phones in school?

Nicholas Lembo's picture

Cell phones get a bad rap in most parts of America. Self-help gurus promise serenity if we turn off our Blackberries, planes ban their use, and public conversation is largely frowned upon in crowded places. This is a marked difference from most parts of the developing world. Why? In America, mobile devices have come to epitomize convenience but are underutilized for valuable information sharing. In the developing world mobiles are obviously still used for conversation and staying in touch, but they also provide an outlet for cheap and long-distance transfer of information that was previously impossible. However, despite their ubiquity, some people are still ignorant of their usefulness.

Boys looking at cellphone

The use of mobile phones has been used for all types of initiatives that typically fall under the umbrella of development work. Text messages have been used to monitor elections and share market prices for milk. As long as mobiles continue to improve daily life, their importance will grow. If monitored correctly, governments can harness this trend to garner another source of foreign and domestic direct investment to gain desperately needed capital. Doubly productive, the explosion of mobile technology also acts as a "leap frog" technology preventing governments from needing to expend huge sums for the development of traditional infrastructure needed for analog phones and land lines.

Despite all their benefits I would argue that cell phones are still underused in the developing world. In areas where education of youth is prevented either by conflict, distance or terrain, or simply a lack of time due to hours spent working, mobile technology can help provide educational materials and resources that may traditionally be unavailable.

It may sound a little unusual, but radio technology was used throughout Australia in the 1950s and 1960s to educate children where Outback distances prevented collective schooling. If countries are really going to ensure universal primary education by 2015, then governments may be better off distributing cell phones than laptops. Especially with the rapidly growing number of people who use mobiles to access the internet, the new marketplace for ideas.


this really rings true (no pun intended) - mobiles are now making a pretty big impact on development. I went to a talk about this recently and was amazed to hear things like: - Of the 4 billion mobile users in the world today, most are in developing countries - More than 10 million people in countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh use their cell phones to consult doctors, rather than traveling far to poor quality clinics, and missing work in the process. Projects like M-PESA have also taken off in a big way. A good resource on all of this is

Submitted by Morakinyo Ayodeji on
Kids should not be allowed to use own cellphones until they have demonstrated adequate sense of responsibility and shown good impreesions of peer pressure management. Even in a University like Covenant(see:, both graduates and undergraduates are reportedly not allowed to use phones.

Submitted by Benoy Paul on
Indeed it is not for everyone... As you correctly said there should be adequate sense of responsibility for the users. Not only kids but grown ups also. There are numerous cases where in mobile phones are used for organised petty crimes, forget about the bigger multi-million scams; eg:mugging in a lonely locality; day light robbery in houses, shops etc... Crime was never been so easily executed!!! On the contrary, crime/criminals were never so easily busted too!!!

Submitted by Arunakshi on
I agree with Morakiniyo...cell phones should not be allowed in schools... I have points both in favour and against but latter are much intense than the former...its true that today the world has become so unpredictable that we cant say wats gonna happen the next such an unsafe environment mobiles are a good way of keeping track of well being of children and there whereabouts but we hav not yet matured enough to handel them...we need social, mental, moral advancement along with technological environment to maintain an equillibrium...which is the need of the hour.... our students are not yet matured enough to handel such draws there attention away from studies, brings disparities gap of rich and poor..I hav many other reasons to quote but that wont be feasable here..... for me its a strict no...

Submitted by Giselle Ontiveros on
Students should not have cellphones during school time... For these reasons -Cheating by text message -Taking pictures in the restrooms, and lockers -Kidnapped -distractions -classroom calls -bad behavior -terrorist attacks -School shooting -Sending answers -Setting fights -Plotting a bomb threat - Arranging drug deal

Submitted by Anonymous on
Students should not have pencil and paper during school time... For these reasons -Cheating by passing message -Kidnapped (whatever that means?) -distractions -bad behavior -terrorist attacks -School shooting -Sending answers -Setting fights -Plotting a bomb threat - Arranging drug deal I only see two that are actually relevant to cellphones that aren't accessible from simple paper and pencil... -Taking pictures in the restrooms, and lockers -classroom calls

Submitted by Anonymous on
ok... seriously?! I know this may sound oblivious, but who the hell gets kidnapped by using a freaking cellphone? and school shooting? Really?? That's reason they SHOULD have them in schools! Be for real people!

Submitted by The Myth Finder on
I say students in high school and under should not have cell phones! I am doing a project about this. Over half of my class say they should have cell phones in school. I am against it and my group was saying what if we use the school laptops? They can do a whole lot more and they cannot take pictures, you can take off the calculator system when a test is going on, in stead off texting you can send e-mails( sure it's not as fast but it's better), and the teachers can monitor what sites you go on.

Submitted by Kelsi on
My reason why cell phone not allowed in school. 1. Not pay attion 2. cheating the test 3. taking pictures in bathroom 4. bullying 4. serious plm 5. treat teacher of classroom call 6. texting friends while class time 7. fool the teacher that you are texting to mom but u text to friends 8. giving the answer for test 9. rumor 10. setting the plan for bully, fight, drug

Submitted by amrita on
children get spoil by using mobile phones.these things are not ment for children,these r ment for some purposes for connecting but today's generation is using it uselessly only.I don't why but how can the parents give there children phones. what can the children do with the mobile just chatting,messages,sms,cheating,internet,games etc.if i whould be the president of india then i would strictly say that above 18 should not get cells above18 can get.i strictly say no to cellphone's in school.

Submitted by Anonymous on
I am 13 and i think us "kids" should be able to use cell phones in school. Maybe if we had a period to use phones, we would pay attention more. xoxo, anonymoussss<3

Submitted by kiddie grinder on
I don't know what kind of school you go to but most schools have a period for those kind of things called

Submitted by Awesome on

Submitted by Anonymous on
i think we should not have cell phones at school

Submitted by Student Male on
I am a 15 year old male student and think cellphones shouldnt be used in school at all. IM 15 AND THIS IS AN OBVIOUS DECISION!!! My generation is a stupid bunch of bratz glued to their phones and will never get anywhere in life. Its sad what this world has come to really, i wish i would have been in an older generation sometimes.

Submitted by Jezzii on
Kids in school (High School in particular) should not be able to use phones during school times. Like a few people said, they can cheat on tests etc: Not only that, mobile phones are a distraction to the person's learning, it's not helping them to be the best that they can be at school. I personally think their education should come first before any social life, it will ruin it some time or another.

Submitted by sewena on
we shuld hav sell fones n skewl bc of emurgences

Submitted by kiddie grinder on
I use my cellphone quite a bit. I hardly ever use it for actual calling normally just texting friends. I think kids should use cellphones as long as they pay for it themselves, im sick of seeing 12 year olds with iphones lol. At most high schools you can get away with texting as long as the teachers cool with it. At the school I go to we are allowed minimal texting.

Submitted by fishcarrots on
As a high school student I see cellphones good as long as they're used responsibly. I see to often, students who do no work because they're distracted texting somebody. (I am one of those students ocassionly) lol. Usually I don't text much during school but if an assignment is very boring or frusterating I see nothing wrong with a 10-15 minute cooldown, as long as you go back to it.

Submitted by Anonymous on
I believe that cellphones are the main cause of leading stupidism, and believe that all technology should be wiped out from the universe. #YOLO

Submitted by Pamela on
I use my cell phone for everything. I understand why schools do not want cell phone on the campus, in the even of so many school shootings, I would want my child to have access to their phone throughout the day for emergencies. I can not imagine not owning one. Though underdeveloped countries, do not have the access to cell phone like we do in the US, there is always someone in the community or a local place where you can make calls. It is slow coming, but they are coming along. It wasn't too long ago, when if my land line was not working, I had to go to the store to get change to use a pay phone!

Submitted by Lin on
It should be allowed but if the class stat they should surrender it. :)