Mobile Phones to be Banned from Dutch Classrooms Next Year

Mobile Phones to be Banned from Dutch Classrooms Next Year

Mobile phones, tablets and smartwatches will be largely banned from classrooms in the Netherlands from January 1, 2024, the Dutch government has said, in a bid to limit distractions during lessons.

Devices will only be allowed if they are specifically needed, for example during lessons on digital skills, for medical reasons or for people with disabilities, said the country’s education minister in a statement. The ban is the result of an agreement between the ministry, schools and related organisations.

Schools can find their own way to organise the ban, Robbert Dijkgraaf said, but legal rules will follow if this does not yield enough results by the summer of 2024. Though it is not a formal ban, the government may choose to bring it after measuring progress next year, it said. Dijkgraaf told parliament that he hopes the move will usher in a “cultural transformation” and increase learning.

A similar ban was introduced in France in 2018 for primary and middle schools to improve focus and prevent online bullying. UK schools have also suggested that such a ban could be introduced.