The Netherlands has officially BANNED phones and smartwatches in schools (hoera!)

In the biggest challenge to everyone’s attention span yet, Dutch schools are banning mobile phones in the classroom. 

Time to find out how hard it is to focus on something for more than eight seconds! Gearing up for the new year, Dutch schools are preparing for a change that will transform the classroom experience.

Starting from January 1 next year, mobile phones, tablets, and even those smartwatches will no longer have a place in the hallowed halls of education.

Why is this happening?!

It’s no secret that mobile phones have become an intrinsic part of our daily lives. But when they start to infiltrate classrooms, it’s a different story altogether.

Teachers have long lamented the intrusion of ringtone symphonies, text message giggles, and the dreaded “I’m totally paying attention, but I’m actually scrolling through Instagram” facade.

Not to mention the fear of being unknowingly recorded during class — no teacher wants to see themselves as the star of an unflattering viral video.

READ MORE | Dethroned! UvA is no longer the top university in the Netherlands 

Because of this, nearly two-thirds of high school teachers are advocating for a school-wide ban, going all-in to create an oasis of learning devoid of digital distractions.

“Even though mobile phones are almost intertwined with our lives, they do not belong in class,” says Minister of Education, Culture and Science of Netherlands, Robbert Dijkgraaf. 

“In class, students must be able to concentrate and have plenty of room to learn well. Mobile phones disrupt this, we know from scientific research.”

“We have to protect students from that.”

Of course, phones can still be allowed for medical reasons, such as a student with diabetes tracking their sugar levels.

The road ahead

As the summer holidays draw to a close, schools will sit down and discuss the nitty-gritty details of implementing this ban. Rules can vary from one school to another, so one might impose the ban only in classrooms, while others may ban it in the school altogether.

(Side note: How will we post our BeReals on time?!)

After these have been discussed, the proper rules and regulations will be put in place in January. 

What’s your take on this phone ban in schools? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Julia de Oliveira Moritz
Julia de Oliveira Moritz
Júlia was born in Brazil, but she’s been away for more than half her life. At five years old, she moved to Nigeria, and at 14, she came to the Netherlands. She came for her education and stayed for… something. She’s not sure if that something is the vibrant springtime or the live music bars. All she knows is that this is her new home, at least for now.


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