The Dutch government has announced that mobile phones and similar devices will be banned from classrooms to prevent disruptions to learning.
The initiative is being implemented in conjunction with institutions and will take effect at the beginning of the following academic year.
There will be some exceptions, such as for students with medical requirements or disabilities, as well as for digital skills-focused classes.
The moratorium is not currently legally enforceable, but this could change in the future.
Robbert Dijkgraaf, the Dutch minister of education, stated, “Although mobile phones are almost inseparable from our lives, they have no place in the classroom.”
“Students must be able to focus and have every opportunity to learn effectively. We know from scientific studies that mobile phones interfere with this.”
Multiple studies have found a correlation between limiting children’s screen time and enhanced cognition and concentration.
In addition to tablets and smartwatches, Dutch prohibition also includes other forms of technology.
The government stated that it would be up to individual schools to negotiate the precise rules with instructors, parents, and students, including whether a complete ban on electronic devices was desired.
The program is the result of an agreement between the ministry, institutions, and affiliated groups.
At the conclusion of the 2024–2025 academic year, it will be evaluated to determine its effectiveness and whether a legal ban is required.
The announcement comes after Finland made a comparable decision the previous week.
Its government has announced that it will amend the law to make it simpler to restrict cell phone use in schools.
Other nations, including England and France, have also proposed prohibiting mobile phones in an effort to enhance learning.