Northern Territory Opposes Blanket Mobile Phone Classroom Ban

The Northern Territory joinedall other states and territories, except Victoria, in opposing a blanket ban onmobile phones in classrooms at yesterdays COAG Education Council meeting.

At the regular,cross-jurisdictional meeting of education ministers in Melbourne, FederalMinister for Education Dan Tehan encouraged his state and territorycounterparts to follow the Victorian Governments lead and ban mobile phones instate schools during class time.

The Northern Territory has noplans to implement such a ban, Minister for Education Selena Uibo told themeeting.

Victorian Minister forEducation James Merlino announced his governments decision this week, as a wayto try to combat cyber-bullying and lessen classroom distraction.

Ms Uibo told the meeting theNT supports school autonomy in deciding whether or not phones should be bannedin classrooms and said they can be valuable learning aids for young peopleusing the devices properly, to equip them with the skills they need for jobs ofthe future.

Also at yesterdays meeting,education ministers voted unanimously to delay the full rollout of NAPLANOnline by one year, following glitches with this years testing that meant thousandsof students had to sit the tests again. This included 154 NT students.

Quotesattributable to Minister for Education, Selena Uibo.

The Territory LaborGovernment has a zero tolerance approach to bullying, including cyber-bullying.

Territory schools arerequired to put in place policies and procedures governing the use ofelectronic devices in the classroom, including mobile phones, and schoolsshould retain this autonomy.

Cyber safety and tacklingcyber bullying is a key focus in NT schools, and is being addressed with anumber of local programs, including the Dollys Dream eSmart program, developedby the parents of young bullying victim Dolly Everett.

An outright ban on mobilephones fails to take into account the many ways in which they can enhancelearning. Responsible use of technology, such as mobile phones, is an importantlife skill for young people.

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