Education Minister speaks to Oldies 107.7 about cell phone ban


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

The reason is the claim that cell phones are a distraction in class, and without them students will focus on the lesson being taught.

Over the past number of years, school boards across the province have been using more technology to teach, and Fields said his board is no exception.

The announcement is expected in the "near future".

At the Greater Essex County District School Board, Superintendent of Education John Howitt said his board has had procedures in place for the use of personal electronic devices since 2010.

"By banning cellphone use that distracts from learning, we are helping students to focus on acquiring the foundational skills they need, like reading, writing and math", she added. "Is this a non-issue cherry picked to pretend commitment to edu?" said Pascal, who works at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

The ban will not apply to cellphone use for educational, health and medical purposes or as support for those students with special needs.

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McRae agrees with Alberta's education minister that schools and teachers should be given the opportunity to figure out a balance on their own.

"I think we really need to think progressively about this and say, 'OK, this technology is here, it's real".

The government said teachers and parents overwhelmingly supported banning cellphone use during telephone town halls and surveys conducted last fall, in which 97 per cent of the 35,000 respondents advocated for the move.

The Green party questioned why a government focused on cutting red tape is introducing "a top-down regulation that complicates things for educators on the front line".

The Ontario Public School Boards' Association appears to have a similar statement.

"Instead of empowering schools to create reasonable cell phone use policies, Ford is promising a province-wide ban that is impossible to enforce", Schreiner said in a statement.

The mother, who has two children in elementary school, says that although we live in a world that relies on technology, there's a time and a place for cellphones.