The French Education Ministry has announced a move to ban mobile phones in elementary and middle schools across the country. Students will not be allowed to take out phones until the school day is over.

Photo credit: 123RF/ Channel 2 News

The French government has decided to step up its fight against the power of phones over children and has announced that mobile phones will be completely banned from use in elementary and middle schools.

According to French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer, the ban will come into effect at the start of the next school year in September of 2018. The idea was first raised during President Emmanuel Macron’s election campaign. Students will be allowed to bring mobile phones to school with them but will be forbidden from taking them out of their bags until the end of the day, even during breaks.

Blanquer stated that some schools have already decided to implement the ban. “Sometimes you need a mobile phone for educational reasons or in urgent cases,” he said. “But their use must be monitored…Kids today don’t play with each other anymore during breaks, they are all stuck in front of the screens, which can be problematic from an educational perspective.”

Despite the government’s firm stance, the teachers’ union expressed doubt regarding the ban’s enforceability.