Students say 'hello' to socialising!

April 10, 2024

Students say 'hello' to socialising!

Student on Snapchat whilst studying Photo: Madison Smith

Teachers and students agree that the government's no phone policy in school is

increasing in person social activity in school.

Term two sees the implementation of the government's ‘Phones Away For The Day’ laws in state kura.

Schools have to make sure that students do not use or access phones while at school, including lunch and breaks.

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says that due to falling national student achievement, minimising distraction in class is the key to increasing achievement cracking down on phones and truancy.

At Rangitoto College, Australasia's largest school, year 13 student Kyel Anderson describes the self-regulated approach explaining that the ban is all self-led.

“They [teachers] tell you to turn your phone off and put it in your bag.”

If your phone is seen the phone is confiscated and recurring offences lead to detention, explains Anderson.

Anderson believes that her grades are not affected by the policy but her social skills are.

“I genuinely do think not having my phone is improving social interaction, before the rule came up, me and my friends used to just sit around on Instagram the whole time [lunch].

“It actually forces people to have conversations.”

Only some things are great, with Anderson explaining that when she forgets what class she has, she can no longer look at her phone to see where she is supposed to be and must instead use her laptop, which can result in being late to class.

Anderson explained that it is proving much harder to find her friends at lunch and remember when and where she has meetings.

Susan Cameron-Smith, an intermediate teacher at Glenfield, discovered a significant increase in in-person social interaction during school breaks.

Running midday sports programmes, Cameron-Smith revealed that she had previously had to recruit students for lunch sports, but that since the implementation, she has never had to struggle and in fact, has a surplus of kids wishing to participate.

“They [students] seem to be having good old-fashioned fun.”

The Ministry of Education explained that no additional resources will be introduced with these rules and schools are expected to take the extra cost on themselves.

Despite the lack of additional resources from the Ministry of Education, Cameron-Smith recognises the ease of implementation due to increased parental support.

Cameron-Smith explains when parents comply with school regulations, enforcement becomes easier, resulting in a more conducive learning environment.

She adds that the definitive policy improves student behaviour and promotes a focused learning environment.

“For teachers, it's great.”

To listen to Cameron- Smiths perspective on phones in school listen here.

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