In 2003, DepED released Order No.83 which reiterates the Department’s previous Orders such as DO 26, s.2000 and DO.70, s.1999 both of which impose a ban on the use of cellular phones by students during class hours. The prohibition applies to elementary and secondary schools nationwide whether public or private.
The ban’s aim was to help students remain focused on their studies and that learning distractions will be minimized.
Below are the two salient points stated in DepEd Order No.83, s.2003:
- The Department of Education (DepED) strictly imposes a ban on the use of cellphones by the students during class hours; and
- Teachers and parents should devise ways to educate students on the responsible use of cell phones to prevent them from engaging in misguided and immoral activities.
In 2009, six years after DO No.83, s.2003 has been released, then DepED Assistant Secretary Teresita Inciong said that they understand the importance of cellular phones in our daily activities, but rules should still be set on how students use them especially inside the school or classroom premises.
She also added that there is no official instruction for teachers and security guards/personnel to confiscate the cellphones of the students. However, the students on their part should turn their cellphones off during class hours and switch it back on after class.
The prohibition on students’ use of cellphones during class hours will only be imposed properly with the help of teachers and parents. Teachers should educate the students on the responsible use not only of cellphones but other gadgets as well and help them to use it on ways that would benefit their studies. Parents on the other hand should also guide their children at home so that they can prevent them from using cellphones in improper activities that may harm their health and even their studies.
For us teachers, cellphones and other gadgets are great tools that enable us to instantly communicate with one another. But when our students use cellphones during class hours, it’s a different story.
Gadgets such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other gaming consoles have been proven to cause negative effects on children’s behavior and study habits. As much as they can be used as tools to enhance the learning process, the excessive use of cellphones and other gadgets are more often than not, bringing harmful effects on the students.