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Ontario to ban smartphone use from public schools next year

By Jules Wang March 12, 2019, 5:00 pm

Like it or not, students are coming to school with smartphones in 2019. And they’re using them. All the time.

Canada’s most populous province, Ontario, seems ready to curtail that use. The Canadian Press wire service reports from sources that the government will announce a cellphone usage ban will be in place for the 2019-20 school year for all public schools. Exemptions include lesson plans that integrate phones and for students with medical and/or special needs.

Toronto tried banning cellphones, but found enforcing it to be extremely difficult and would impair students from varied learning experiences. It dropped its ban after 4 years.

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However, surveys conducted by the Conservative government found that 97 percent of respondents favored a cellphone ban. A 2015 study from the London School of Economics and Political Science also picked up a correlation between a cellphone ban and improved test scores, especially in lower-achieving students.

Details of the new policy are expected in an official announcement within the next week.

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