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Nowadays, the advent of hand phones has signified a new epoch in the modern society, no exception for secondary schools. Over the years, the disputes on the topic, “Should hand phones be allowed in secondary schools?” is never-ending. For your information, students of Japan and Korea have at least some freedom to use hand phones in the school area. When the scope is narrowed down to our country, there was also a dissension in the Education Ministry last year. Although the dissension did not come out with a proper conclusion, but the concern on this topic had shown that our ex-Education Minister, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid had a realization on the advantages of hand phones for secondary school students. From my point of view, I am standing firmly for the statement that hand phones should be allowed in secondary schools because hand phones are vital tools for students’ personal safety, as learning aids and for entertainment purposes.
First and foremost, students’ personal safety is always the issue being concerned by students and parents all the time. Unimpeachably, the primary use of hand phones is for emergency contact as it always provides easy access for students to contact with school authorities. Based on American Academy of Pediatrics, approximately 1300 students died in gun homicides from 2012 to 2014. In a situation where danger is lurking everywhere, students may not know when their hand phones would come in handy. Besides that, a bullying case in Malaysia in 2017, a 15-year-old junior’s refusal to lend his football cleats to his senior had consequently resulted in him getting viciously beaten up by a group of ten in the dormitory. If the junior had made use of his hand phone to make an emergency call to school authorities, the tragedy would not have happened. Moreover, in secondary school, students always get in touch with tools like hammers in Kemahiran Hidup (Living skill) classes and chemical compounds like concentrated sulphuric acid in Chemistry classes. They need to make emergency calls to teachers or paramedics as soon as possible if the students get injuries caused by the hammers and chemical compounds. To conclude, people cannot prevent mishap from happening, but they can do their best in self-preparation.
Many people claim that allowing hand phones in secondary schools is an invitation to the drop of students’ discipline. I strongly disagree with this saying as hand phones can act as learning aids too. As an illustration, John Monash Science School in Melbourne has encouraged their students to bring hand phones to school. This is because there are many laudable functions in hand phones. For instance, students can jot down notes, make videos and do calculations all by themselves, with more discipline and independence. According to the Head of Science in John Monash Science School, Mark McTier, students can get precise records of temperature and pH (potential of Hydrogen) in experiments by using the sensors.
Furthermore, applications in the hand phones such as Photomath also aid students’ learning processes and train students’ self-discipline. By using Photomath, students just have to scan the mathematical equation and the solution will be provided for them to do their double-checking. This application has undoubtedly given a multitude of advantages to students especially those taking Additional Mathematics in secondary school. As an illustration, students have to surge through many exercises in Additional Mathematics, but usually the teachers have no adequate time to discuss all the exercises with students. Besides training students’ independence, students can reinforce their self-discipline as they are checking the answer, but not copying the answer. No wonder Kurzweil, the eminent American author said that hand phones should be dubbed as gateways to the sea of knowledge.
For your information, starting from 2017, students in France can only bring their hand phones to school after they reach the age of fifteen. However, the use of hand phones during classes and recess time is strictly prohibited.
On contrast, there is viewpoint that students need the hand phones for entertainment purposes as well. In this modern society, students are always bombarded by pressure-be it from parents, high expectations from schools, and the feeling of bearing burden promoted by their peers. Hand phones usually act as an outlet for student’s unduly stress and pent-up emotions. For example, students always make use of hand phones to search funny videos online. According to the research from Ed Diener, people with happy and positive mood are more likely to strive towards success (804). Eventually, happiness of students led them to be successful, not only in the field of academic, but also in the coverage of non-academic area. Other than that, students need music in their hand phones to boost their productivity too. By listening to music, the activation of both left and right brain can even boost up students’ memory and learning power (Godkin). Hence, with the use of hand phones, students can enjoy their own de-stress session which at the same time enhance their learning potential.
In summary, hand phones should be allowed in secondary schools as students can gain easy access to emergency contact, learn in a more convenient way and release their profound pressure. Every coin has two sides, but if students use hand phones in a correct, positive and effective way, secondary school authorities may find that the allowing of hand phones in schools have more competitive advantages than the shortcomings of using the hand phones.
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