• Friday, June 21, 2024
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How smartphone addiction is limiting students, education outcomes – Experts

How smartphone addiction is limiting students, education outcomes –  Experts

Experts have blamed smartphone addiction and social media influence, among others, for low student outcomes and psychological imbalance noticeable in many school children, especially girls.

Policymakers, educationists, and parents have in recent times expressed concerns about smartphone usage among school children, saying apart from distracting the students from reading, it also has a toxic influence on them morally and academically.

Research in 2021 by the Department of Community Medicine, Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad, Gujarat, India, indicated that “Smartphone usage among adolescents age 16-19 was found to be 83.9 percent. The smartphone addiction rate was reported to be 37 percent.”

Experts argue that if students are barred from coming to schools with smartphones, it will reduce bullying among genders, and improve girls’ grade point average (GPA) and attendance rates.

Boye Ogundele, certified teacher, and education management expert explained that the use of smartphones in schools should not be encouraged, especially in primary and secondary schools because it exposes the students to sites such as pornographic, betting, dating, and others, thereby inculcating immoral mind-set in them.

“Smartphone usage among students is a form of distraction academically, physically, and even spiritually. Cyberbullying through smartphones can affect the morale of a child and can also lead to psychological and emotional imbalance,” he said.

“Addiction to smartphones can cause sleeping disorders which can also lead to insomnia. Poor academic performance is another disadvantage because a child struggling in his/her academics will waste more time on the smartphone than studying,” he added.

Abiola Omosebi, a teacher with the Lagos State Ministry of Education, decried the harmful effects of smartphones on students, saying it was eating deep into the fabric of their reading culture.

She said since the government has not put any measures in place to check the ugly development, there is little or nothing a teacher can do.

“Child rights law says you can correct but no punishment must be given, so each child can do whatever they like with the phone.

While you’re teaching, students will be watching skits on TikTok under the table; we’ve enlightened them about distractions caused by phones but all to no avail,” she said.

Friday Erhabor, a parent, does not believe that an outright ban on smartphones in schools is the best because it helps students with their research work.

“Smartphones should not be banned because it is good for research purposes. However, it can be regulated and controlled such that students can have access to certain sites,” he said.

Similarly, Elizabeth Ohaka, an early childhood consultant insists that children below the age of 13 should not be allowed to own phones. According to her, even those who are 13 must be monitored, especially the contents they watch per time.