Surabaya’s elementary and high school students will return to school this July. Their cell phones won’t.
“Having cell phones makes it difficult for students to concentrate,” Surabaya mayor Tri Rismaharini said on Thursday.
The Surabaya administration announced on Thursday that it would ban cell phones from the city’s elementary and high school by the start of the upcoming school year. The administration has already decided to ban elementary and junior high school students from bring cell phones to school. City officials are mulling whether to ban cell phones in senior high schools as well.
“We’re still undecided whether to implement it in senior high schools and vocational schools,” Tri said, “The initial idea was that it should be implemented at senior high schools as well.”
The city plans to soon send a letter to schools in the East Java capital informing teachers and administrators of the new policy.
Schools will punish students caught bringing their cell phones to schools. Teachers can bring their phones to school, but have been barred from bringing them into the classroom.
“Teachers who violate the regulation will be punished as well,” Tri said.
The city plans to install phone booths in the schools so students can still call their parents, the mayor explained.
The deputy chairman of the Surabaya Education Council criticized the plan, calling it excessive and explaining that cell phones are a part of modern life. Schools and parents should focus their energies on teaching students when to use their cell phones instead of trying to ban them, Isa Anshori said.