Nov 25, 2013

    Too young to carry a mobile phone to school?

    CONTROL analyst Eoin Yankaya, 34, thinks his six-year-old son Shadrach is a "little too young" to be carrying a mobile phone when he starts primary school next year.

    Mr Yankaya and his wife Phebe Deng, 30, a housewife, reckons they may let him have one when he is about 11 or 12 years old, and is more responsible.

    Says Mr Yankaya of Shadrach, who will be attending St Andrew's Junior School: "Now, I don't think he can even take care of his own books and not misplace them."

    Ms Pearly Ng, principal of First Toa Payoh Primary School, says she allows pupils at all levels to carry a mobile phone in school for "effective communication" between parent and child.

    Usage is restricted to recess and after school to "minimise disruption to their lessons".

    However, Primary 1 pupils are "still young", and "we would not advise them to own one".

    She explains: "The child may misplace it in the course of the day, or mishandle it, damaging the mobile phone."

    Should there be an emergency - for instance, when a child falls ill - the school's administrative staff or teachers will contact his parents.

    Pupils are taught they can approach their form teacher or co-form teacher for help too.

    On ownership and usage of mobile phones by Primary 1 pupils, a Ministry of Education spokesman says: "Schools are empowered to develop their own rules that best fit their school situation on whether mobile phones are allowed to be taken to the schools and their usage within the school premises."