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Bill banning use of mobile phones in classes filed in Senate

By AYIE LICSI Published Jun 10, 2024 3:46 pm

A bill banning the use of mobile phones and other gadgets during classes has been filed in the Senate.

On June 10, Senator Win Gatchalian said that he formally filed Senate Bill No. 2706, or the "Electronic Gadget-Free Schools Act."

Under the bill, students from kindergarten to senior high school will not be allowed to use their devices within school premises during class hours. 

Teachers and faculty members will also not be allowed to use their phones during designated teaching hours in classrooms as per the measure.

In the explanatory note for the bill, Gatchalian said that while gadgets have become a compelling learning tool, they can "cause distractions that could adversely impact learning."

He also cited data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2022 which said that eight in every 10 learners aged 15 said they got distracted in class by using their smartphones. Furthermore, eight in every 10 also reported they got distracted by others using phones in class.

"It is the policy of the State to promote and protect the physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being of our youth and learners. Towards this end, policies must be crafted to safeguard their well-being and enhance their potential and skills through eliminating distractions caused by mobile devices and other electronic gadgets and protecting them from the unwarranted effects of excessive online and gaming use," the bill read.

S.B. No. 2706 also provided exemptions when gadgets can be used during class hours including for classroom presentations and activities, health and well-being-related cases, and managing risks in case of emergencies.

Earlier in April, Gatchalian said he was mulling the said bill.