The Dutch government has just announced the ban of mobile phones, tablets, and smartwatches largely from classrooms starting from 1st January 2024. This will be implemented with full effect in an attempt to limit distractions during classroom lessons.
Although they will be banned, the Dutch government has allowed some exceptional scenarios for their use. They will only be allowed if they are very urgently needed, for e.g., during certain lectures on digital skills, for medical reasons, or for students with disabilities.
“Even though mobile phones are intertwined with our lives, they do not belong in the classroom,” education minister Robbert Dijkgraaf said.
The ban on these devices will enable students to not be distracted during lectures by any sort of distraction may it be gaming apps or social media in general. They are generally not needed in a classroom during a lecture and the presence of these devices gives the students an easy source of distraction, rather than understanding the lecture.
“Students need to be able to concentrate and need to be given the opportunity to study well. Mobile phones are a disturbance, scientific research shows. We need to protect students against this.”
The ban is the result of a mutual agreement between the ministry, schools, and all the related organizations.
There is no specific order as such for how this ban is to be implemented at a district or school level. Schools have been given leverage to organize or implement this ban on their own in their own way, Dijkgraaf said, but strict legal rules and action will be followed if the results will not yield by the summer of 2024