High-school students attending a forum organized by the Ministry of Education’s Youth Development Administration have proposed a “no cellphone day,” saying smartphone addiction could alienate students from society.
At a forum on Sunday, 100 senior-high and vocational high-school students offered their suggestions to Minister of Education Wu Se-hwa (吳思華) and other officials on a variety of topics including learning and career planning, civic awareness, international perspectives, technology and smart living.
Internet and smartphone addiction could restrict students’ thinking, negatively affect their health and alienate them from other people, the students said.
They urged the ministry to designate a “no cellphone day” to raise awareness on mobile phone addiction.
The ministry’s K-12 Education Administration said it would be difficult to designate such a day without social consensus, pointing out the benefits of smartphones in helping people receive e-mails and reach information. Such phones can also have educational uses, it said.
However, they would work on finding ways to educate students on cellphone usage to prevent addiction, officials said.
The students also complained about the tendency of some teachers to “spoon feed” students, instead of inspiring them to think and engage in debates, and asked officials to improve teachers’ assessment and evaluation systems so that teachers who are not suitable for the job can be fired more easily.
Officials said that teachers enjoy better job security than the private sector, adding that a system to remove underperforming teachers is necessary.
However, the issue needs to be studied more carefully because it involves value judgments, officials said.
Wu said the ministry would begin by helping teachers improve their teaching methods and course materials.
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