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Why Swedish schools allow cellphones in classrooms

By Anne Sewell     Nov 30, 2013 in Technology
According to Sweden's National Education Agency, there is no general rule prohibiting Swedish school children from using their cellphones during lessons. That is, as long as it doesn't actually disturb the lesson.
Kjell Hedvall of Sweden's National Education Agency (Skolverket) told the Swedish television on Thursday, "There is nothing that forbids it as long as it doesn't disturb the lesson."
The subject came up during a discussion about disclipine in Swedish schools. and when it came up, Hedvall said that there was nothing in his agency's rule book to ban it.
He did add that "it can always be discussed whether it's appropriate or not."
The Swedish media (Swedish language) reported that other matters that cause problems between teachers and their students were brought up, including whether students should wear winter jackets or hats in class, which he said shouldn't be an issue either.
Mattias Ragert, press officer of Skolverket did add that while there is no "general rule" to say that phones are forbidden in class, he did tell the Local that this shouldn't mean that students can just take out and use their phones the minute the class begins.
Ragert said that most schools had their own rules for dealing with cell phones and that some teachers do ask the children to hand their phone in at the beginning of each lesson, and get it back at the end.
Ragert added:
"Every school has to make up its own set of rules, together with the teachers, students, principals - everyone."
"Our agency doesn't think it's okay if students sit there playing, and if a school has rules against it then these should be followed."
"Of course, it's important that schools deal with phones. Students are there to learn, that's the point, and it's no good if the phones are disturbing the process."
According to the agency's rules, should a student actually disturb the lesson, the teacher should then ask them to stop and can ask the student to leave the classroom if more drastic measures are needed. If the problem recurs, the teacher can then order the student to see the principal.
A rather interesting subject indeed, bearing in mind a recent disruption of a cell phone ringing at a concert in Gothenberg, as reported on Digital Journal recently.
More about Sweden, Mobile phone, Cell phone, Classroom, Students
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