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Quicktake: MOE blocks phones in schools

 TLDR: China’s Ministry of Education has largely banned mobile phones in elementary through high schools.

Source: http://www.moe.gov.cn/srcsite/A06/s7053/202101/t20210126_511120.html

Purpose: To prevent harm to eyesight, internet/gaming addiction, and promote healthy development

  1. Restrictions in schools: Student phones are only to be brought to campus with written permission from the parents saying there is a real need. Even then the phones are forbidden in classrooms and will be looked after by school staff.
    • In recognition that parents need to contact students, schools can explore the use of public phones in schools, or even create electronic student ID’s with communications functions.
    • Teachers must not use mobile phones to assign homework or require that phones be used to complete homework.
  2. Schools are to increase students’ online literacy, awareness, and self-discipline, and also inform parents of the harm from children’s excessive phone usage.
  3. County-level governments are in charge of enforcement and ensuring school compliance.

Context:Child internet addiction has been viewed as a major issue in China, addressed through surprisingly strong rules aimed at the gaming industry to limit the frequency and duration of children’s phone usage. Online literacy and protection education is also an emerging topic, including in the new Child Protection Law.

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