Quebec enforces classroom mobile ban, echoing global trend

The measure, effective from December 31, aims to curb distractions in public elementary and secondary schools.

Canada flag is depicted on the screen with the program code

Quebec has introduced a new rule prohibiting cellphones in classrooms, effective December 31, following Ontario’s lead. The directive applies to public elementary and secondary schools and seeks to minimize disruptions during classes.

While the measure offers flexibility for specific educational purposes, some advocates call for a stricter ban, while others suggest focusing on digital literacy and technology education. This move aligns with global trends, as countries like France and China have implemented more comprehensive phone bans in schools.

Why does it matter?

This matter emerged following a July UNESCO report highlighting the dual nature of digital technology in education—emphasizing its potential benefits and overlooked risks. Notably, the report draws attention to the connection between excessive device use and heightened distractions during the learning process. Despite countries like the UK and the US considering similar bans, questions arise regarding the effectiveness of implementing such measures.

For instance, teachers’ unions in Ontario expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of enforcement of the province’s 2019 cellphone ban, citing the ongoing problem of phones regularly appearing in classrooms. Similarly, France banned mobile phones in all schools four years ago, but effective control remains challenging in many schools.