The use of mobile phones in schools has been a much-discussed topic in recent months after a series of instances of peer violence and inappropriate behaviour was recorded on mobile phones by students, which is why one of the proposals was to ban their use in schools across Serbia.
However, the Working Group for the Prevention of School Violence did not approve of the ban but recommended that schools prescribe measures for the use of mobile phones during classes and that’s exactly what the Ratko Mitrović Elementary School in Belgrade did, i.e. it completely banned the use of mobile phones and smartwatches on school premises.
Several schools across Serbia followed suit and banned the use of mobile phones during classes. Many already have a rule whereby mobile devices, including smartphones, are stored in boxes on the teacher’s desk or cabinets. Phones are returned to their owners once the classes are finished.
The principal of the Ratko Mitrović Elementary School, Svetlana Milutinović, says the first day of the ban went really well.
“The first day went fantastically and not a single student used their mobile phone during the big break in the schoolyard. Teachers say that no one has had any problems regarding the ban, nor do the children talk much about it,” says the principal.
According to her, the decisive factor for making that decision was teachers noticing an increased use of mobile phones during classes and breaks.
“This is a big problem because children use mobile phones and smart watches uncontrollably, especially young students in grades 1 to 4. They frequently call their parents whenever they encounter a problem and they are not taught by parents to turn to the teacher to help with the resolution of the problem. During school breaks, children don’t communicate properly and don’t spend time together as they are glued to their screens. They are also prone to recording other children without their permission, and that’s frequently a source of peer violence. Our goal is to reduce the use of mobile devices to zero in the school”, Milutinović adds.
This post is also available in: Italiano