Divya Menda got a cellphone when she turned 13 last month.
For the Class 8 student, the Nokia Xpress Music phone is her BMW, but now she will not be allowed to carry it to school.
The state on Friday passed a resolution to ban cellphones in schools for students and teachers. While students cannot use phones on the campus, teachers cannot use them in classrooms. The rule will apply to all schools.
“Anyway, I’m not allowed a phone to school and if I’m seen using one in the foyer, it’ll be confiscated. But I think students require cellphones,” she said.
The rationale behind the resolution is that cellphones have become a major distraction.
“It will instill more discipline among students and teachers and the environment will be protected. Cellphones can be a major distraction and can affect students’ and teachers’ performance,” said Sanjay Kumar, principal secretary, school education.
Schools say although they don’t allow phones on campus, a rule will make it more effective.
“It will strongly drive home our point. There is absolutely no need for a cellphone in school. We have PCOs on the campus and students can use it anytime. Of course, we have exceptions — like students who come from far and their parents would like to know if they reached. But children are smart they find a way out of everything,” said Meera Isaacs, principal, Cathedral and John Connon High School in Fort.
“As for teachers, I doubt anyone picks up their phone in class. They don’t need any instructions,” she added.
But Menda adds with a smirk: “We find a way to check our messages.”