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UNESCO endorses banning smartphones from schools

Content for Mains Enrichment


Source: TH

 Context: UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report 2023 warns against the uncritical adoption of digital technology in educational settings, as there is little robust evidence of its added value in education.


Negative impact of mobile devices on children’s learning:

Negative ImpactExamples
DistractionStudents get distracted during lectures or study time due to notifications from social media apps.
Reduced Attention SpanChildren find it difficult to focus on a single task for an extended period due to constant multitasking on devices.
Decreased Reading HabitChildren spend more time on mobile games and videos than reading books or educational material.
Impaired SleepExcessive use of mobile devices before bedtime leads to sleep disturbances and reduced sleep duration.
CyberbullyingChildren experiencing cyberbullying through social media platforms, lead to emotional distress and impact their learning.
Reduced Face-to-Face InteractionOverreliance on virtual communication leads to decreased social skills and communication abilities.
Lack of Physical ActivitySpending excessive time on mobile devices leads to a sedentary lifestyle, affecting overall health and academic performance.
Inaccurate InformationChildren may come across misleading or false information online, impacting their understanding and knowledge.
Privacy ConcernsSharing personal information on social media or other platforms without understanding the potential risks to privacy.
AddictionDeveloping addictive behaviour towards mobile devices leads to withdrawal symptoms when not using them.



  • The report endorses banning smartphones in schools when technology integration does not improve learning or worsens student well-being.
  • Excessive screen time has been linked to poorer well-being, less curiosity, self-control, emotional stability, and higher anxiety and depression diagnoses in children.
  • Advocates for data privacy laws to protect children’s information


Use: The issues and recommendations can be used in question-related to education/learning at school/Screen addiction among children.