Private Schools’ Association of Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK) on Monday expressed its concern over the growing misuse of mobile phones by children in homes and schools alike, as the trend is not only killing the creativity among children and teens but also pushing them towards moral degradation and other ills.
The spokesman said that association after deliberations with several schools and experts have decided to take several steps including the imposition of fines, confiscation of mobile phones and counselling, to confront the menace. “With every passing day, the growing use of mobile phones, e-games and other such applications by our students are having a disastrous impact on them. Be it mobile games or video creating applications, uncontrolled use has become a huge problem. It not only distracts students from academics but affects his health and leads to many social ills,” said G N Var chairman PSAJK. “We are taking remedial measures and for its to be successful we need cooperation from parents too.”
The Association has decided to ban the mobile phones and other such electronic gadgets in school premises. “Anybody found using these mobile phones will be subjected to fine besides confiscation of mobile phones, by the respective school authorities. The fine will increase proportionately for repeat offenders. For repeat offenders the parents will be summoned to schools too,” said Var. “At homes too, the screen time of students has to be restricted and here parents need to do their effort. There is a need for the strict parental watch on the use of mobiles by their wards.”
The Association said that modern technology has brought a lot of benefits but at the same time it has its disadvantages if used without care. “The excess screen time is killing creativity among students and this will become worse with every passing day. Such is the bad effects of these gadgets that tech giants like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs used to keep their children away from these phones,” said Var. “
The Associations said that besides having a negative effect on health, the mobile phones are also leading to moral degradation and loss of social values among students particularly teenagers. “Teenagers are attracted to such devices but without parental watch they particularly girls can land themselves in severe troubles,” said Var. “There have already been some incidents involving mobile phones and steps need to be taken before it goes out of hand.”
Citing global studies, the Association said that early introduction to electronic devices, such as smartphones and tablets, is linked to speech delays in toddlers, reduced sleep and delayed sleep onset. Older children, including teenagers, are also feeling the negative effects of screen time, with poor sleep quality and higher incidences depression (related to social media use in teens).
The Association is also in talks with subject specialists and course is being prepared for counselling the students against ill-effects of mobile phones. “We have also appealed the schools to prepare the best material available on the internet to tackle the growing use of mobiles even by toddlers and make students understand about its impact,” said Var. “For our efforts to succeed we also need cooperation from parents. They too need to control their screen time and keep a watch on their wards when it comes to using the internet.”