Shall we give cell phones to school kids?

The Indian telecom industry has developed to a great extent after liberalization of policies and today, on the basis of number of telephone users it is the second largest in the world. This sector generates a huge annual revenue and plays a major role in changing the socio-economic condition of India.The  government is using modern telecom facilities in the education sector and providing mass education programmes to rural people in India through it. Small and marginal farmers in some villages are reaping benefits from e-Choupal. So, telecom industry as whole can do a lot more than we think. Hence broadly, telecommunication as an industry is not confined to cell phones and talking over it with friends and sending SMSs.

Though it is true that any development has its own advantages and disadvantages and so is the case of telecom industry, especially its associated gadget, the mobile phone. If used correctly then technology is a boon otherwise can prove a bane. No doubt that cell phones have connected the world but when these come into the hands of school going kids then its usage become completely different. By them this gadget is mostly used for talking and sending messages and if they have smart phones with full internet access then they are free to browse what they want. Also cell phone is the status symbol for many. Parents under pressure give cell phones with full browser to their kids. So we must think if the cell phones should be allowed for school going kids or not?

Excessive use of cell phone really brings all the undesirable changes in them including physical and psychological. One well known example of misusing cell phone in India by school kids is the Delhi Public School MMS scandal in 2004. Two students of the school created a pornographic MMS and it was even auctioned on eBay India. So there is a big question of mobile phone and its effect on the growth of a child.

Today’s kids are surrounded by so many such things that obviously they are losing their innocence at a very early age. Not only this, but they use this gadget to send vulgar jokes and so on.

Though this is not the only factor but use of cell phones at schools is one of the major reasons of their distraction from studies. So by giving smart phones to them, do not take away the learning from kids, which they should be doing at this age. Temptation in this age is so strong that children by default tend to watch and do for what they do not get permission.

Then the question of its effect on health also revolves around. Scientifically it has been proved that wireless phones or any such gadget should not be given to children below 16 years of age as effect of mobile radiations on their sensitive brain is very strong. These radiations can damage the cells and tissues of the body as these are in developing stage at this age. Then the overuse of phones for games definitely affects the eyes very badly. Young kids with spectacles can be seen in every class. Their mind is always preoccupied with what they see and do and so mind is not at all free for studies. Also it has been concluded that there is a link between childhood cancer and usage of mobile phones. Our brains have evolved for face-to-face communication rather than text messages. Too much involvement in this can lead to physiological disorder and social cut offs. So giving even your phones to kids who are below six years of age is wrong.

We are living in the world with number of criminal incidents against children and this makes our decision of giving cell phone to our kids even stronger in spite of all disadvantages. For safety purposes if the cell phone is given to kids then make them aware of mobile phone frauds, its misuse, cyber bullying and crime. Also try not to give smart phones to them as there are more chances of misusing it. They need phone just to call you in case of emergency but not to show off. Keep a check on the mobile bills or call they are making, sort of messages they are sending and whether by any chance the cell phones are affecting their studies or not. If any of these is yes then take the cell phone away and find out alternate ways to help your kid in case of emergency. Like always keep the contact number of his or her teacher, school emergency number, in case your kid is going by bus or van then driver’s number and contact number of at least one of his friend’s parents. This will help you a lot in helping your kid in an urgent situation. Also give such an education to your kid that there are bleak chances of moving him or her away from right track. Liberty and restriction should go hand in hand. They should value the liberty given to them than just misusing it for fun. Believe me if you are part of your kid’s life in true sense then there won’t be much requirement of all these gadgets in early age. Teachers should also keep a strict and regular check on school kids so that they do not use the phones in school or in class. Keep the penalty of doing anything against the school rules and follow this strictly. Be a friend, mentor, guide, and make sure that it is you as parent who should always be there for your kid not the cell phone.
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