German teachers association against banning mobile phones in school

BERLIN, Oct 5: The German Teachers’ Association has ruled out a mobile phone ban in schools, similar to the ban planned by the British government.  

“An absolute ban on mobile phones for all age groups and the entire school sector cannot be enforced,” association president Stefan Düll told German news agency (dpa). 

According to a British government website, new guidance from Britain’s Department for Education will see the use of mobile phones banned throughout the school day, including at break times.

The aim is to prevent distractions, disruptions and bullying, said British Education Secretary Gillian Keegan. However, a legal regulation is likely to take some time, so the guidelines are to be adopted first.

Many parents want their children to be able to call in for last-minute arrangements, for example in case of cancelled lessons. No date has been announced for the British ban to take effect.

“We have to think carefully about which age group we allow what for,” German Teacher’s Association President Düll said. Even more thought is required if tablets are also used in the teaching environment.

“We have to work on how to ensure that only what is important for teaching is used,” he said.

Düll said he agrees that the potential for disruption from smartphones is high, but he stressed that there were plenty of distractions in the analogue era as well.

Students would have done homework assignments for other subjects, written little notes or done other private things, he said.