Schools become cell-free zones

East London schools are clamping down on the use of cellphones by pupils during school hours as a result of "abuse" of this facility while attending classes, Dispatch Online reported yesterday.

East London schools are clamping down on the use of cellphones by pupils during school hours as a result of "abuse" of this facility while attending classes, Dispatch Online reported yesterday.

Several top schools have forbidden the use of cellphones by pupils for calling or texting on school grounds this year, as teachers' frustration with pupils paying more attention to their phones than the chalkboard has reached breaking point.

Selborne College and Clarendon Girls' High and Primary Schools have declared their school premises "a cellphone-free campus".

At Hudson Park High pupils are not allowed to use their cellphones at any time of the school day except in an emergency and with the permission of a teacher.

Mandy Croney, Hudson Park's deputy head for pupil management, said: "We have seen enormous abuse of cellphones during school hours."

Charlene Barnard, the principal at Althorpe College, said the school confiscated phones, then charged a R5 fine and donated the money to charity.

The ban on cellphones comes amid numerous reports of pupils cheating in exams by saving tips and SMSing each other.

Last year, the Daily Dispatch reported that pupils at Stirling High had used cellphones to distribute a video of acts of violence among grade 8 pupils.

Other schools have voiced concern about the use of cellphones after reports that pupils had used them to distribute pornography. - Sapa

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