The French parliament on Monday adopted a ban on cell phones and other internet-connected devices such as tablets and watches in its educational institutions. At the end of August, instructions will be sent to schools on how to enforce the law.
"We are voting to ban the use of mobile phones in all schools and colleges in France," said Sylvain Maillard, MP from Paris, on his Twitter. "The law will apply from next school year 2018! ”,which starts in September.
The law is part of a campaign promise by President Emmanuel Macron. It was voted on by presidential and centrist deputies, while the opposition abstained, arguing that it was only a "political exhibition", according to Le Devoir.
"The general assembly has definitively approved the general ban on mobile phones in schools and university colleges. Commitment made ”, wrote the French President on Monday afternoon on his Twitter.
The ban affects students who are today up to 11 to 15 years old. Prohibits the use of any object that can be connected to communication, including tablets and watches.
Deputy Cedric Roussel said that "to clarify the terms of this prohibition, the ministry will publish at the end of August a formulary to accompany the institutions in the implementation of this law."
“I am delighted that this right to disconnect is effective from the beginning of the school year,” said MP Cathy Racon Bouzonm, highlighting digital technology for pedagogical uses.
Since 2010, French law prohibits cell phones "during any teaching activity and in the places (where they are) provided for by internal regulations" but this prohibition lacked solid legal support, as is the case of the new law, which it was voted with a single vote against.
The Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, who considered that this was not fully complied with, applauded this new law "entering the 21st century" and that "sends a message to French society", but also abroad, where "other countries have shown their interest ”.
There will be exceptions
However, each institution "for educational purposes" may establish special rules for children with disabilities or in some procedures. Sports-related activities will also be affected in educational systems.
In the case of secondary schools, they will have the possibility, but not the obligation, to ban cell phones and other connected objects, in whole or in part, according to Le Devoir.