Mobile phones ban in schools | SSUET admissions
Use of mobile phones in schools
Lahore, Jan 06: Just a
few days ago, the Punjab Assembly had unanimously passed a resolution
banning the use of mobile phones in schools and colleges without arguing
for a minute on this serious issue that has otherwise ignited heated
debates across the planet if these devices really interfered with the
teaching and learning processes in classes and if the radiation they
emitted actually carried any potent health risks.
like United Kingdom, United States, India, Germany, Russia, France and
Austria etc have seen diverse opinions surfacing on this subject during
the last few years, one doesn't of course expect from the rather 'highly
literate' Pakistani legislators, whose own educational qualifications
are challenged every now and then, to discuss the health-related
consequences of mobile phones for students.
In fact, it might
just be very naive on part of the Pakistani public to pin hopes on their
representatives sitting in legislative houses to even ponder if the
electromagnetic radiation released by these wireless devices really
caused cancers and affected the developing brains.
But what the
Punjab law-makers could at least have done, for which they did not have
to be Harvard graduates, was to deliberate on more general aspects as to
how these devices were distracting the teaching/learning processes in
schools, to what extent was this technology really beneficial for
students and how effective could the slapped ban in this context be.
research conducted by The News International shows that although an
over-whelming number of schools across the world have limited the use of
mobile phones and have set up restrictions on the use of these devices
as they were surely been used for cheating in exams, bullying,
harassment, facilitating gossip and other social activity on the campus
and causing threats to the schools security, pupils continue to trick
and outwit their tutors in every nook and corner of Earth-making it a
huge universal issue.
Talking about India first, the Central
Board of Secondary Education in India had banned use of cell phones in
schools controlled by it on July 29, 2009, saying students would have to
learn to live without the omnipresent handset for as long as they were
(Reference: The Times of India edition of August 3, 2009)
Central Board of Secondary Education in India circular had stated that
mobile phones were a major distraction and, at times, even misused.
It had specifically mentioned the devices with in-built cameras, apprehending such phones could also be misused.
However, no penalty was imposed or recommended if a student or a teacher was caught with one on campus.
Times of India" had quoted the Principal of Ahmedabad's Calorx Public
School as saying: "Mobile phones in schools have more drawbacks than
advantages. Even if mobiles are in a silent mode, students can make use
for SMS during class."
The Delhi Public School Principal, Sunil
Trivedi, had chipped in saying, "We had banned mobiles long ago, but we
will ensure even more stringent adherence with this circular. We even
have emergency help-lines for students in our admin offices."
"The Indian Express" (September 4, 2011 edition) had carried a story
from Chandigarh dateline, which said that with mobile phones emerging as
a prime cause of distraction among students, city schools were devising
various techniques ranging from imposing fines to counseling the
students as well as their parents in a bid to discourage the on-campus
use of these devices.
The afore-cited "Indian Express" edition
had gone on to write, "Despite having prohibited the students from
bringing mobile phones to schools, most of these institutions have been
catching more than five students with mobiles during every surprise
check. The authorities also state that the problem is more specific to
the senior section. Parents permit their children to carry phones so
that they can know the well-being of their child when he is away. But
for children, mobile phones are totally about exchanging instant
messages, clicking pictures and using other multimedia features. While
they are in school, they need to concentrate on teaching and other
useful activities. But their addiction to the mobile features robs their
attention from productive work."
In August 2009, all Indian
schools in Qatar had also banned pupils from using mobile phones on
their campuses and teaching officials across the Gulf state's Indian
schools had welcomed the ban.
In United States, more than 100
students were suspended in March 2010 at the Wilbur Cross High School in
New Haven, Connecticut State, for using cell phones.
to the Microsoft and the National Broadcasting Company (MSNBC), an NBC
News family cable news channel based in the United States and also
available in Germany, South Africa, the Middle East and Canada, the 100
suspended pupils weren't bullying, cheating and were not even caught
smoking in the bathrooms.
This MSNBC report dated March 2010 had
gone on to write: "The school's total ban is at one extreme of a debate
under way in schools across the country. As ever more powerful cell
phones come closer to mimicking the laptop computers many pupils carry
each day, teachers and administrators are wrestling with whether their
utility as a teaching tool outweighs the disruptions they can pose in
the classroom. Pupils can now use their phones during lunch, and, what
is more significant, teachers have the discretion to allow them in
class, even working them into lessons."
The afore-cited report
had stated that more than 70 per cent of American high school students
carried a cell phone, sending about 440 text messages a week, a quarter
of those - more than 100 every week - while in class.
results of some reputed surveys, MSNBC had stated: "About a third of
high school students admit having used cell phones to cheat in class.
About 52 per cent say they know students who store information on their
phones to use during quizzes. Some 57 per cent say they know students
who text friends for answers during quizzes. Similarly, 41 percent say
they know students who have taken pictures of quizzes to send to their
friends and 45 per cent say they know students who search the Web on
their phones for answers during quizzes."
The United Kingdom has also done a few experiments about banning cell phones in schools.
In 2009, there were reports that most pupils across Britain used mobile phones in school despite the blanket ban.
report, carried out by the Cranfield School of Management in Bedford,
said the increasing amount of unofficial use of the internet and mobile
phones in schools had undermined the capacity for independent study,
leading to poor grammar.
The report revealed that six in 10 UK
school children were found to have copied information from websites
without properly reading it.
The research showed that technology
obsession hindered spelling skills, implicitly encouraged plagiarism
and classroom learning was eventually disrupted.
in UK have found that almost half of teachers could not understand
written work by some students because they used text shortcuts.
Daily Mail" (October 14, 2009 edition) wrote: "A secondary school is to
be the first in the country to let pupils use mobile phones as a
learning tool. MP3 players such as iPods and gaming platforms will also
be allowed into the classroom at Notre Dame High School in Sheffield.
Senior staff believes the versatile devices should be regarded as small
computers for schools to use without extra cost, instead of banning them
as most schools do."
The Cellular Phone Task Force, US-based
nonprofit organization dedicated since 1996 to halting the expansion of
wireless technology and providing information about the injurious
effects of mobile phones has carried the following information on its
"In the year 2000, the UK Department of Education had
recommended that children under 16 should not use cell phones except in
an emergency. In 2002, the Interdisciplinary Society for Environmental
Medicine (3000 physicians in Germany) had proposed banning cell phone
use by children and banning cell phones and cordless phones in
preschools, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, events halls, public
buildings and vehicles.
In 2005, Austria's Public Health
Department had banned cell phones in public schools and in August 2005,
the Austrian Medical Association had warned against Wi-Fi, cordless
phones, and cell phone use by children."
The Cellular Phone Task
Force website has stated: "In 2006, Germany's government had stated it
would not install WiFi in its schools until it had been shown to be
In 2006, a few Irish and British schools had removed
their wireless networks. In 2007, the German Parliament had recommended
against installing Wi-Fi in schools. In 2008, Ontario (Canada)'s
Lakehead University had banned Wi-Fi on its campus. In 2008, schools in
Madhya Pradesh (India) had barred use of cell phones in schools. It was
again in 2008 that the National Library of France and other public
libraries had removed Wi-Fi connections because of health concerns. The
Sainte-Genevieve University of Paris had also followed suit."
website reveals further," In 2008, the Russian National Committee for
Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection had warned that cell phones were
unsafe even for short conversations, proposing that children under 16,
pregnant women, epileptics and people with memory loss, sleep disorders
and neurological diseases should never use them. In 2008, the University
of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute said children should never use a cell
phone except in an emergency and Voice (the UK Teachers Union) had
called for a ban on Wi-Fi in schools same year. In 2009, all schools in
Karnataka State (India) had decided to ban cell phones in all schools."
Cellular Phone Task Force website further says," In December 2010, the
French parliament passed a law prohibiting advertising cell phones to
children under 14. The law prohibited children up to age of 14 from
using cell phones in pre-schools and public schools. On August 30, 2011,
the Israeli ministry of education published guidelines strictly
limiting the use of mobile phones on all school grounds, citing
increased risk of malignant tumors for students and the "passive
exposure" experienced by kids who did not use phones."
2011, the 47-member Council of European States had urged to ban mobile
phones and wireless networks in schools. (Reference: Daily Telegraph
edition of May 14, 2011)
"The Daily Telegraph" said that in
opinion of this powerful European body, mobile phones and computers with
wireless internet connections posed a risk to human health and should
hence be banned from schools.
The esteemed British newspaper had
written in its afore-cited edition: "Fears have been raised that
electromagnetic radiation emitted by wireless devices can cause cancers
and affect the developing brain. The findings were seized on by
campaigners who oppose the spread of wireless devices. The conclusions
contradict advice from the World Health Organisation and the Department
of Health, which says exposure to electromagnetic fields poses little or
no risk to human health."
Talking about a few vital statistics
regarding mobile phones, in the 20 years from 1990 to 2010, worldwide
mobile phone subscriptions had grown from 12.4 million to over 4.6
billion, penetrating the developing economies and reaching the bottom of
the economic pyramid. (References: Associated Press and CBS News
reports of February 15, 2010).
The world's largest individual
mobile operator by subscribers is China Mobile with over 500 million
mobile phone subscribers and over 50 mobile operators have over 10
million subscribers each. (Reference: The Guardian edition of January
Over 150 mobile operators around the world had at least one million subscribers by the end of 2009.
far as Pakistan's standing among countries with highest cell phone
usage is concerned, it was ranked 9th among 222 countries in 2009 by the
CIA World Factbook 2009) with 88,020,000 users in 2008.
was only behind China (547,286,000 users), European Union
(466,000,000), India (362,300,000), United States (255,000,000), Russia
(170,000,000), Brazil (120,980,000), Japan (107,339,000) and Germany
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SSUET fee submission date extended
Karachi: Registrar of Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) on
Thursday announced that the fees submission date for admission in the BS
Programme has been extended up to January 11 in view of the rush of
students. The previous last date was January 4, he said.
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KU LLM results
Karachi: The controller of examinations, University of Karachi (KU), declared
the results of the LL.M (Previous) Annual Examination-2011 on Thursday.
According to the gazette issued, 182 candidates were registered for the
exams of which 163 students appeared. Meanwhile, 77 candidates were
declared passed. The overall pass percentage was 47.24.
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Karachi: The Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK) said on Thursday the
Oriental Languages-2011 exam scheduled for January 9 had been postponed
and now would be held on January 17 at the same time and examination
centres. The exam was postponed due to a holiday in schools announced by
the Sindh government on account of the Urs of Hazart Shah Abdul Latif
Bhittai, said the controller of examinations, Rafia Mallah. The news
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Qaim asks HEC to release funds for medical varsity
Larkana: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has urged the
Higher Education Commission to release more funds to expedite work on
the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Medical University in Larkana.
after presiding over maiden meeting of the university's senate and
launching F.M 97 radio for health awareness at the proposed site for
SBBMU near Arija on airport road on Thursday that PPP leadership was
keen to make this institute a world class university.
He said that
after the passage of 18th amendment education had become a provincial
subject but universities were still under the purview of HEC.
He urged the HEC to release more funds for the project and announced a grant of Rs20 million for the university.
was optimistic the government would be able to collect handsome amount
of revenue under sales tax in the wake of 18th amendment.
About F.M 97 he said its transmission would be available within 30 kilometre radius.
Established at a cost of Rs3 million this radio would be a great help in spreading health awareness, he said.
praised the efforts of SBBMU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Akbar Haider
Soomro for contributing a great deal to the establishment of this
institute within a short span of six months.
He said that it was
Benazir Bhutto's dream to see a world renowned medical university here
and her dream would be translated into reality. Over 220 acres of land
had been allotted for the university, he said.
ministers Agha Siraj Durani, Ayaz Soomro, Mohan Lal Kohistani,
Commissioner Syed Asif Hyder Shah, members of senate Prof M. Sultan
Farooqui and others also attended the meeting. Dawn
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