Mobile Phone Usage in Schools: Russia, China and France


Oleg A. Grigoriev DrSc., PhD. (radiobiology & hygiene of non-ionizing radiation); Chairman, Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (RusCNIRP)

3rd of February 2021


The BBC reports: China bans children from using mobile phones at school

By Jane Wakefield
Technology reporter

Children in China are to be banned from using their phones in school, the Ministry of Education has ruled.

Pupils will not be allowed to bring mobiles to school without written parental consent.

The authorities say they want to protect young people’s eyesight, improve their concentration and prevent internet addiction.

Schools are being encouraged to find other ways for parents to communicate with children during the school day.

According to one of the country’s newspapers, China Daily, there has been heated debate among parents over the whether the ruling is practical.

The vast majority of children and teenagers in China access the internet via their own smartphones – 74% of under-18s, according to the government-affiliated China Internet Network Information Centre.

But the authorities are concerned about how internet use is affecting the health of the nation’s youth.

There have been rising levels of nearsightedness among children in China and in 2018, the authorities announced plans to regulate the gaming industry which was partially blamed for the problem. They also cited concerns that gaming addiction was damaging mental health.

The following year a curfew was imposed on under-18s, who were restricted to 90 minutes of gaming on weekdays and three hours on weekends and holidays.

Read more at:

China bans mobile phones in schools and tightens social media

Didi Tang, Beijing Monday February 01 2021, 5.00pm GMT, The Times

China has banned pupils from bringing mobile phones to school to ensure that they concentrate on their studies.

The measure, which the education ministry said was to promote “healthy upbringing”, follows bans already introduced by some schools and local education authorities.

Beijing has also moved to further tighten control over social media, with internet companies launching a publicity drive to remind the public not to report or comment on political, economic, military and diplomatic news or big breaking stories.

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In September 2018, the French government banned the use of mobile phones in schools. 

Phone use is banned inside school grounds

The law, according to Le Figaro, stipulates that children cannot use their telephones inside school grounds (or at school based activities outside of school such as sporting events or day trips) nor can they connect via any device to the internet. There are possible pedagogical exceptions for children with special needs.

It’s up to each school to determine how to police the ban, which applies to children in école maternelle (pre-school), école élémentaire (equivalent to junior high school, up to age 10) and collège, up to age 15 (ninth grade). At Lycée, which a teenager attends for the last 3 years of high school, individual establishments make their own rules regarding phone use.

Research continually shows how distracting cell phones are—so some schools want to ban them

In July of 2018, the French government passed a law banning cell phones in schools. According to CNN, the law passed 62 votes to one. The policy came into effect during the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year and impacts students in kindergarten through the 9th grade.

Some schools across the U.S. are enacting similar policies as a way to decrease distractions for students.

“It was a constant distraction for kids and what it became is a constant discipline issue,” Robin Kvalo, Principal of Portage High School, tells Wisconsin Public Radio. Kvalo says the school confiscated over 200 phones during the last school year, and that students and teachers are seeing results.

“They are not distracted anymore,” she says. “The phones are not their preoccupation. They know they can’t have the phones in the classroom. If that had been the case years ago, we wouldn’t have needed the policy.”

It doesn’t take a scientist to tell you that cell phones can be distracting, but if you do want confirmation from a scientist, it’s not hard to find. Study after study shows that the powerful computers we keep in our pockets can be distracting for even the most disciplined of adults — not to mention students.

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