Mobile phones will soon be used as teaching aids in schools in Mumbai. The Maharashtra government has decided to lift the ban on carrying them into classrooms — but only for teachers, after they get a nod from their respective principals.
The state school education department will issue an official circular in a couple of days.
For school authorities, however, the fear is that teachers could get easily distracted by the constant updates on their phones.
“There is no doubt that mobiles can be used to enhance learning,” said Father Francis Swamy, manager, St Xavier’s School, Fort. “But we are concerned that the teachers may get distracted by messages and calls that are bound to come if the phone is switched on.” Swamy said if teachers are allowed phones, even students will demand it.
Principal secretary of the department, Nand Kumar, however, said teachers will be discouraged from making personal calls. “Teachers can use their phone to show educational videos to explain certain concepts,” said Kumar. “And use Whatsapp to share students’ innovations.”
Teachers have welcomed the decision, but they want the state to provide internet facilities. “If we use mobile phones for teaching, we should be reimbursed for our data usage,” said Uday Nare, teacher, Hansraj Morarji Public School, Andheri.