Saturday, July 20, 2024

National will ban cell phone use at schools, with exceptions

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National Party leader and Botany MP Christopher Luxon says a National Government will ban students from using cell phones at school. File photo supplied

National will ban cell phone use at school to help lift achievement and support every child to make the most out of their education, party leader and Botany MP Christopher Luxon says.

“To turn around falling achievement, students need to focus on their schoolwork during their precious classroom time.

“That means doing what we can to eliminate unnecessary disturbances and distractions.

“Many schools here and overseas have experienced positive outcomes, including improved achievement, after banning the use of cell phones.

“We want teachers to be able to get on with teaching and students to concentrate on learning.”

Luxon says student achievement has declined over the past three decades, jeopardising kids’ future livelihoods and threatening New Zealand’s future prosperity.

“Without a world-class education system, we cannot expect to have world-class incomes.“While we once ranked in the top ten OECD nations in maths, science, and reading, we have fallen outside the top ten in all three core subjects.“More than half of Year 8 students are behind expectations in maths, science and writing according to the National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement.

“National has already announced its plan to focus schools on the basics, including a minimum of one hour each of reading, writing, and maths every day.“Students only have one shot at their school years, and we want to help them make the most of their valuable class time.”

Luxon says schools will be able to decide how they enforce the policy, but it could mean requiring students to hand in their phones before school, or leave them in their lockers or bags.“Parents can contact students via the school office, and exceptions for students with health conditions or special circumstances will be permitted.

“Education should be the great enabler that means every New Zealand child can pursue their aspirations regardless of where they start in life.

“However, when half of year 10 students cannot meet basic reading and writing benchmarks needed to succeed in further learning, work and life, we are failing to set every child up to succeed.

“National will take practical steps to ensure school is a positive environment where young New Zealanders can focus on what matters most.”

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