I REFER to your report “School bans mobile phones” (The National, Sept 1).
The decision by Hohola Demonstration Primary School to ban the use of mobile phones by students during school hours is a move in the right direction.
The onset of mobile technology in PNG brings to light important issues schools and parents must address.
While mobile phones do offer a means for parents and guardians to monitor their children – particularly at the primary and secondary levels – the element of misuse and abuse of this privilege if not addressed, will prove to be detrimental to our young mobile-savvy generation.
One can only begin to think what teachers have to put up with during lessons in today’s classrooms.
The ability to send mobile media (pictures, tones and video files) via bluetooth and infrared to multimedia messaging services (MMS) and internet capabilities must be a worry to parents, especially when they can distract our children from their lessons.
More so, with the inception of such technology, parents need to be aware of what content their children have on their mobile devices and what they are able to access either through their friends or the internet.
Another new (and worrying) trend made possible through this technology is that it provides an avenue for students to cheat during tests and examinations.
Schools and other learning institutions may already have their own systems in place to deal with mobile use during assessment periods.
However, the onus should be on parents in controlling their children’s mobile activities.
One method is choosing the right type of mobiles for their children and I believe children should own the lower-end models.
Although the higher-end phones come with all the bells and whistles such as colour displays and inbuild MP3 players, the cheaper mobiles offer the basic functions and still allow families to keep in touch with their children.
An added bonus of equipping your children with a lower-end mobile is they are less likely to attract attention.