UN Report Makes Strong Case for Banning Smartphones in Schools | Here’s Why, in 10 Points – Apna TPO

A recent report by UNESCO, a United Nations organization that focuses on education, science, and culture, suggests that schools should ban smartphones to address several issues.

The report highlights how excessive use of mobile phones negatively affects students’ learning and emotional well-being. It emphasizes the importance of putting human interactions with teachers first and using digital technology as a helpful tool rather than replacing face-to-face learning.

What Does the UNESCO Report Say? Explained in 10 Points/h4 >

  1. Negative Impact on Educational Performance: The report highlights evidence linking excessive mobile phone use to reduced educational performance among students. High screen time is also found to have a detrimental effect on children’s emotional stability.
  2. Human-Centered Education: UNESCO urges policymakers to maintain a human-centered approach to education, ensuring that digital technology, including artificial intelligence, always serves as a supplementary tool rather than a replacement for traditional teaching methods, as per a report by The Guardian.
  3. Caution Against Unrestricted Technology Adoption: The report cautions against blindly embracing digital technology without considering its potential drawbacks. While technology may positively impact learning outcomes and economic efficiency, it is not always a better option, and not all changes constitute progress.
  4. Importance of the Social Dimension: As education increasingly moves online, the report urges policymakers not to overlook the significance of face-to-face teaching. The social interaction between students and teachers is crucial for effective learning and should not be neglected.
  5. Balancing Digital Technology Objectives: Countries need to establish clear objectives and principles to ensure that digital technology in education is beneficial and avoids harm, the report said. This includes safeguarding individual students’ health and protecting democracy and human rights from potential invasion of privacy and online hatred.
  6. Disruptive Impact of Inappropriate Technology Use: The report points out that excessive or inappropriate use of technology, such as smartphones, tablets, or laptops, can lead to distractions and disruptions in the classroom, negatively affecting students’ learning experience.
  7. Unequal Access to Technology: While technology can create learning opportunities for many, the benefits are unevenly distributed. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds often lack access to digital resources due to costs and limited internet availability, creating educational inequalities.
  8. Caution Against Biased Research: The report raises concerns about the influence of private education companies on education policies. Much of the evidence supporting technology in education is funded by these companies to promote their products, which may lead to biased research.
  9. Global Efforts in Prioritizing Learners: The report acknowledges that countries are increasingly recognizing the importance of putting learners first in digital technology integration. For instance, China has set limits on the use of digital devices in teaching to ensure balanced learning experiences.
  10. Acknowledging Online Learning during the Pandemic: The report recognizes that online learning was crucial during Covid-19 lockdowns, but it also highlighted the challenges faced by millions of students without internet access, emphasizing the need for equitable educational opportunities.

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