New cellphone restrictions are set to go into effect Monday for students across the province.
The restrictions, first announced earlier this year and supported by 97 per cent of parents, students and teachers who took part in the Ford government’s education reform consultations, mean students at Ontario schools will not be allowed to use mobile devices during instructional time.
Ontario’s Minister of Eductation, Stephen Lecce, says it’s about removing distractions from the classroom.
“This initiative is about changing the culture and behaviour in schools to focus on learning and to remove the impediments to learning,” he explained.
“If a teacher does not instruct the use of technology, then cellphones are not going to be in the class. It’s as simple as that.”
Lecce said he believes there’s strong public support behind this implementation — including support from teachers, parents and even students.
University of Montreal professor Thierry Karsenti, Canada Research Chair in Technologies in Education, agrees that cellphones are a problem in schools but says the focus should not just be on a ban.
“I think we should teach students to be more responsible in their use of technology and their use of cellphones.”
Exemptions will be made if cellphones and tablets are required for medical reasons, to support special needs or for educational purposes allowed by instructors.