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Ontario to ban cellphones from classrooms during instructional time

14 March, 2019, 18:22 | Author: Rafael Roberts
  • Ontario to ban cellphones in classrooms

According to The Canadian Press, the provincial government is planning to announce this week its intention to ban cellphones from Ontario classrooms.

The Ontario government says cell phones distract from learning, and while the local school board agrees, it doesn't believe banning phones is the right route.

The exceptions are in cases where phones can be used as a specific part of a lesson, or for medical resaons, or for students with special needs.

The Tory government conducted education consultations past year, and while input on the sex-education curriculum dominated headlines, feedback was also gathered on a potential classroom cellphone ban.

No formal announcement has been made yet.

Ministry of education officials, speaking on background, said students wouldn't be expected to lock up their phones and while enforcement will be hard, it will be left up to school boards.

The board previously admitted that enforcing a complete ban was almost impossible, and indicated that limiting the use of technology in the classroom would consequently restrict educational opportunities.


The Peel District School Board policy states that students "will use devices responsibly" only after getting permission and direction from teachers.

About 97 per cent of respondents favoured some sort of restriction on phones in class, the sources said.

The Ontario Public School Boards' Association did not provide comment Tuesday, but in its submission to the government consultations it had urged the province to continue allowing school boards to make their own decisions.

"With this ban, the Ford government is just duplicating powers that educators already have to control cellphone use in their classrooms", the statement said. The board has previously said that enforcing an outright ban was next to impossible, and said that to curb technology use would be to place limits on educational opportunities as well.

Instead, McRae said schools should be helping students find a healthy balance for their cellphone use.

"We use technology quite effectively in our classrooms as much as we possibly can".

The ban takes effect in the new school year beginning this September.

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