After confirming the initiative taken by 27 private schools in Bogotá to restrict the use of cell phones during classes, it has been brought up how this measure has worked in other places in the world, such as the United Kingdom, Italy and China.

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In the United Kingdom, in February 2024, a plan was launched to ban cell phones in all schools. According to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, at least one in three secondary school students have said their lessons have been interrupted by phones.

In the case of Italy, the ban extends to kindergartens, primary and secondary schools.a restriction that has already existed for more than 10 years, but that little by little has been applied.

China, for its part, banned children from bringing phones to school two years ago, but the Asian country has sought to go beyond the school environment, since even has proposed a measure to combat “internet addiction” among young people restricting daily screen time to a maximum of two hours.

According to a recent report by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), Nearly one in four countries currently has laws or policies that prohibit or restrict cell phone use in schools.

Among the territories that have banned the use of cell phones in classrooms are also France, Finland, Sweden, Greece, Israel and Australia.

Reducing cyberbullying

According to a study done in Spain, those regions that had cell phone bans in schools They showed a significant reduction in cyberbullying and, in one of the areas, positive results in mathematics and science exams significantly increased.

Another recent investigation, but carried out in Norway, revealed that female students exposed to bans on the use of telephones in high school obtained, on average, higher gradesalthough the bans had “no effect” on the average grades of male students, perhaps because “female students spent more time on their phones,” according to the study.

UNESCO recommends proceeding with caution when deciding to implement the restriction of cell phone use, considering the role of new technologies in learning and basing its policies on solid evidence, as they are clear in stating that distancing students from innovative technology can also put them at a “disadvantage”.

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