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Paper: Mobile phone ban during school lessons in the works

Finland’s National Board of Education is preparing regulatory guidelines to ban the use of mobile phones during classroom lessons. At the moment, mobile phone use rules vary from school to school.

Image: Tiina Jutila / Yle

The Jyväskylä-based newspaper Keskisuomalainen reports on Wednesday that guidelines are being prepared to regulate mobile phone use in Finland’s primary, secondary and vocational schools. The National Board of Education is drawing up universal rules that would ban the use of the handheld devices during classroom instruction.

According to the paper, the guidelines will be introduced already this spring, but the Board of Education says it cannot force schools to oblige with them.

There are no plans to limit student mobile phone use during the breaks between classes.

The teachers’ union OAJ says the guidelines should be expanded to include illegal and disruptive mobile phone use during the recesses as well.

“We know that some students watch adult entertainment during the breaks, or take videos or photos of other students without their knowledge and post them online. If someone is being harrassed or bullied, we have to be able to intervene,” says OAJ Development Manager Nina Lahtinen in the article.

“Using a mobile phone to support teaching is a good thing, but we need help in dealing with the disruptive mobile phone use that takes place during instruction,” says Lahtinen.