Wednesday, 26 June 2019 05:11

Victoria to ban mobiles in state schools from 2020 Featured

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Victoria to ban mobiles in state schools from 2020 Image by Mashiro Momo from Pixabay

The Victorian Government will ban the use of mobile phones during school hours in state schools from the beginning of the school year in 2020, with the state's Education Minister James Merlino saying the ban is aimed at stopping cyber-bullying.

Merlino is set to formally announce the policy on Wednesday, something the former Liberal National Government had promised to introduce in 2018.

The ABC reported that under the new rules, mobiles would have to be kept in lockers during school hours. The only exceptions would be if a student wanted to use a device for medical reasons or if a teacher allowed use for a specific classroom task.

Merlino was quoted as saying: "This is for all state schools, government primary and secondary schools.

"We can't impose such a ban on our non-government sector [such as] Catholic and independent schools."

Victoria is a year behind NSW where the state government introduced a ban from 2019 onwards, with the announcement made in December last year.

At the time, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Education Minister Rob Stokes said the new measures were taken following an expert review which showed rising cases of online bullying, inappropriate sharing of explicit images between students, predatory behaviour from strangers and unnecessary distraction for students.

Well-known child psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg led the survey which received about 14,000 responses and 80 submissions.

The ban on mobile phones has not been restricted to Australia, with the UK having introduced partial bans as far back as 2007. France introduced a ban in September 2018.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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