Japan Panel Broadly OKs Smartphone Ban Lifting at Junior High Schools

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, June 24 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese education ministry panel broadly approved at a meeting on Wednesday a policy of allowing junior high school students to carry smartphones at school conditionally as means of communication during commuting in times of emergencies.

But the panel of experts confirmed that the ban should be maintained for elementary school students.

After the panel compiles its final report in July, the ministry will inform education boards across the country of the change for junior high students.

In a notice issued in 2009, the ministry banned elementary and junior high school students from bringing smartphones with them to school. As smartphones are now widely used, however, an increasing number of parents are calling on schools to allow their children to carry smartphones at school as a communication tool in the event of natural disasters.

Against this background, the panel agreed to review the ban for junior high schools under certain conditions while underlining the need to consider specific rules and ways to manage smartphones at school and restrict the viewing of harmful websites through discussions among students and parents, and teachers.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press