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Misuse of mobile phones in schools and examinations

International statistics revealed that in 2019 the number of mobile phone users is predicted to pass the 5.0 billion mark. During 2016, a predicted 62.9 percent of the population worldwide already owned a mobile phone. Mobile phones presently have become such a necessity in everyone’s lives and even an important part of our standard of living when we have expensive mobile phones. Although there are quite a few benefits of bringing mobile phones to school/institution, the disadvantages of doing so surely outweigh them.

Principals/educators urge that permitting mobile phones to school would be equivalent to giving an open invitation to distraction. This is because with so many activities in a single gadget, students are bound to be tempted to indulge in them, hence deviating from the main objective of coming to school. Their concentration towards studies would deteriorate as they would be busy fiddling with their mobile phones.

It was mentioned in the international report that worldwide smartphone sales increased 1.3 percent yearly with almost 384 million sales, but demand for premium and high-end smartphones continued to suffer because of marginal incremental benefits during upgrade. Having surpassed 5 billion people connected to mobile services during 2017, the worldwide mobile industry will reach more milestones over the next 8 years. It is also reported that the number of unique mobile subscribers will reach 5.9 billion by 2025, equivalent to 71 percent of the world’s population. Growth will be driven by developing countries, mainly India, China, Pakistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh also Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

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Various research reports mentioned that mobile devices, in particular internet-capable smartphones and tablets, have become an integral part of everyday life for many people in most parts of the world. Students at the secondary and tertiary levels – and increasingly some even younger – use their phones to stay in constant contact with friends and family. Yet when they enter the classroom, there is more often than not the prediction – or, in fact, the absolute requirement – that mobile phones be switched off, or at least not used during a class. The sentiment is widely shared among teachers/educators that mobile phones in the classroom function as a serious distraction, taking student attention away from learning. Teachers would also get distracted, as it is predicted that the mobile phone will ring during class, destroying the tempo of the entire class. Not only would this, with a mobile phone in everyone’s hands, there naturally be unhealthy competition to see who has got the latest model and the hottest brand. This would only raise the worries and expenditure of parents as every student would pester their parents to buy them new mobile phones.

Also it would make students with not so latest mobile phones be a victim of inferiority complex. Worse still, it may also create a barrier or ‘cellphone-fuelled class difference’ between students as mobile phones models and brands are now considered a status symbol. Bringing mobile phones to school would also pave way for theft. With expensive mobile phones in every other person’s bag, anyone could steal a mobile phone, disrupting discipline and making school a very unsafe place.

 

Many people argue that a mobile phone permits parents to stay in touch with their children and remain informed about their whereabouts and anything that they need to. This, however, is also possible without a cellphone, as schools have phones and any significant information can be conveyed through it.

Unluckily mobile phones can be seen as a means employed by students for cheating during examinations. They can simply text anyone and ask for help. Not only this, it can give rise to after school gang activities and be misused in many ways, like making prank calls just for fun. This can lead to serious results and cause unnecessary panic also waste time. Academic cheating commonly exists in the educational environment in the same manner as microorganisms’ exists in the natural environment. Some students also use scientific calculators, mobile phones or other electronic devices since the technological era. Cheating in academic settings has always been an issue, particularly with advances in technology like mobile phones, and more scoring pressure on the students to get admission in top universities, cheating has become prevalent.

Similarly moral codes of society about cheating are becoming more down to earth than it did before. Still, it can be hard to spot a small mobile phone in a large class. Some teenagers are so good at spelling out text messages on phone key pads that they can do it without looking, while the phone is hidden up a sleeve, in the big front pocket of a hooded sweatshirt or under a desk. It is also not obvious when a student is taking a picture, because some mobile phone cameras do not make any noise.

Many students urged text messaging is more expected than taking pictures as a cheating tool, but they have heard of both happening. Some teachers and administrators are also worried that students will take photos of other students or in other inappropriate ways. Like all other states in the world, Pakistan too is affected by this well-known problem in our education system.

Conclusion

I want to give a message to all parents, class teachers including concerned education government authorities in Pakistan; please take tangible steps to stop usage of mobile phones in the class rooms particularly in the examination hall.

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