Bill banning use of mobile phones, other electronic gadgets in school, filed at House

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 3) — A lawmaker has filed a bill which seeks to ban the use of electronic gadgets in schools for grades 10 and below.

San Jose Del Monte City lone district Rep. Rida Robes has filed House Bill No. 5542 or the “Electronic Gadget-Free Schools Act.”

Under the proposed measure, students 15 years old and below are prohibited from using any mobile devices or electronic gadgets while inside the school premises.

Students are required to surrender their gadgets to school authorities and they may be only redeemed during dismissal.

However, students may use their gadgets only if there is an emergency, when required in a class discussion, and when necessary for the health or well-being of a student certified by a licensed physician.

Students who violate the said measure shall be sanctioned based on the school’s student code of conduct or manuals provided for under existing rules and regulations.

The Department of Education, the Department of Health, and representatives from the Parent-Teacher associations shall promulgate the implementing rules and regulations.

Robes cited a study which states that the use of smartphones may obstruct the learning and focus of students.

“According to recent studies (Markley, 2018), reading on smartphones is worse for learning and comprehension. Other studies have also shown that smartphone addiction creates ADHD-like symptoms in users, which diminishes the happiness between social settings, due to the constant flow of information to their phones,” she said in her explanatory note.

The lawmaker also cited a study by the London School of Economics and Political Science which showed that test scores improved significantly at schools that banned mobile phone use.

READ: House bill wants kids under 13 out of social media