PHONES IN SCHOOLS: Let students have gadget that's part of our lives now
AFTER reading the interviews in the New Sunday Times last week, I must say that both Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim and Belinda Ong have raised good points regarding the proposal to allow pupils to bring handphones to school from next year.
There are many pros and cons in this issue. As a Sixth Former, I often see students using handphones in school although it is banned.
I am a prefect and have found that most students continue to bring their smartphones to school despite spot checks.
The fact is, despite stringent rules against handphones in school, students are still using them in schools. So, why not just allow them to bring the phones? Then, students will be able to contact their parents or make emergency calls.
Sometimes, it is quite frustrating when something urgent happens but we (students) have to look for public phones to call for help. Times have changed.
Handphones have become a big part of our daily lives. Students should be allowed to bring handphones to school, but new rules should be introduced, implemented and obeyed by all.
FIRST, I would like to suggest that all phones must be on silent mode or switched off. They should only be allowed to use handphones during recess or after school.
Those who break the rule more than three times should be blacklisted and barred from bringing their handphones to school.
In addition, the school authorities should register handphone owners to avoid mix-ups.
SECOND, talks should be given in schools about proper use of phones. They should be advised to use handphones for specific purposes, such as contacting their parents.
They must be cautioned that disciplinary action will be taken against them if they use the phones for other purposes like playing games, recording and posting school-ground antics (fights and bullying), pornography, or surfing YouTube or Facebook.
THIRD, those who are caught red-handed for stealing handphones should be punished.
However, parents and students are fully responsible for the loss of their handphones if they bring them to school.
It is a good idea to allow students to bring only basic handphones for calls and text messages. This will prevent them from showing off or comparing their smartphones.
The students themselves play an important role in proving that the Education Ministry's proposal to allow them to bring handphones to school is a wise one. Everything has positive and negative sides. I believe that bringing handphones to school is prudent if all parties involved cooperate to make it work.
Winky Lau, Kuala Lumpur