Educators hate them, most school principals prohibit them in theory, but the cell phone continues to be a constant companion in school, even during lectures. This was the finding of the national newspaper La Nacion.
Reporters visited a number of schools and found out that the administration has all but given up the fight. A few still throw chalk to get student’s attention or snarl a lightning question, but most say it’s a lost cause.
Even high Education Ministry official Mario Fung calls shutting them down in class “improbable” and says most students simply ignore administrational bans on their use. Not even confiscation works.
In fact, he has become a convert to allowing the cell phones — always if the student has finished his assignments, of course. If the phone helps the student with his school work, so much the better.
The same experience exists with teachers at both public and private schools. Indeed, teacher Lourdes Juarez at Luis Dobles Segreda High School in the Sabana says that it can even become a teaching tool.
Indeed, Fung says that parents are partly at fault, buying phones “in case of emergency” for their child. But Fung says the phones have become a social device, not a lifeline.
The paper found that the phones have taken over in a big way, much to the delight of cell communications companies. Kids use them before they learn to tie their own shoes and older students may ignore the safety of condoms but have cell phones tucked to their cheeks.
But Fung obviously thinks it has become an addiction. This is why he doesn’t favor confiscation, he told La Nacion, saying that without them, students often become “desperate.”
What about the students who don’t have cell phones? “We have to train those who have them to share,” says Fung.