Education Minister speaks to Oldies 107.7 about cell phone ban

Ontario to ban cellphones from classrooms

Education Minister speaks to Oldies 107.7 about cell phone ban

He said there was a ban at his school, Prince Andrew High in Dartmouth, around a decade ago.

NDP education critic Marit Stiles noted that a recent memo from the education ministry advised school boards to defer filling vacancies for retirements and other leaves for teachers and other staff until a promised update by March 15.

"Ontario's students need to be able to focus on their learning - not their cellphones", she wrote.

The ban would prohibit the use of cellphones during instructional time.

In a statement to CTV News, the Alberta government said "Minister Eggen trusts Alberta's teachers and school boards to make their own rules regarding the use of cell phones in their classrooms".

Ontario has made a decision to ban cellphones in classrooms, but Alberta is not ready to make that call.

The Progressive Conservatives had proposed such a ban in their platform during last year's election campaign. "I think it's important to understand what the government is trying to do as an objective, what kind of behaviour are we trying to target with this".

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"I think we really need to think progressively about this and say, 'OK, this technology is here, it's real".

Students would be allowed to bring their phones into the classroom, the government said, but usage would be reserved for educational and emergency situations.

As the Ontario government is looking at banning cellphones in schools, some people are on the fence about whether or not an outright ban is the way to go.

The government said teachers and parents overwhelmingly supported banning cellphone use during telephone town halls and surveys conducted last fall, in which 97 per cent of the 35,000 respondents advocated for the move. These improvements were mostly demonstrated among the students who were typically "low achieving".

"Some classrooms have teachers tell the students they can't use cellphones, or some principals have policies for their schools", Schandl said.

According to the study's findings, "this suggests that restricting mobile phone use can be a low-priced policy to reduce educational inequalities". "It was the closest thing we got in our consultation to unanimity", one source commented to The Canadian Press.

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