In order to prevent cyberbullying, public schools in Western Australia are set to implement a ban on use of mobile phones by students during school hours.
When the ban comes into practice from 2020, the school hours’ ban will apply to all public schools across the state. Premier Mark McGowan stated that the decision comes as the authorities are trying to create a better environment for students.
He said, “We want to create the best possible learning environment for WA kids and our policy will allow students to focus on their school work without the distraction of a mobile phone.”
“The policy will improve the health and wellbeing of students, by encouraging children to connect socially in class and in the school yard. Some schools have already adopted this policy, and the results have been very positive.”
“Additionally, while it is recognised that cyberbullying mainly occurs outside school time, banning the use of mobile phones will reduce external issues being brought into a school via technology,” he said.
Western Australia won’t be the first Australian state to implement such policies. Recently authorities in New South Wales and Victoria announced similar bans which will also take place from later next year.
At the time, federal Minister for Education Dan Tehan praised Victoria’s decision. He said, “”I think what we can’t get around is the impact that phones are having when they are used in the classroom. They are a distraction, they also — it’s very difficult for teachers to teach when they’re also trying to discipline against the constant use of mobile phones and particularly when we look at the impact phones are having when it comes to cyber bullying.”
“For all these reasons I think by far the most common sense approach is to say mobile phones cannot be during class times at schools.”