JOHOR BARU: Students are mostly hoping that the Education Ministry will allow them to bring their mobile phones to school in the future.
Form Three student Eileen Yong, from SMK Perling 1 here, said it would be more convenient for her to contact her parents in case of an emergency.
She recalled a recent incident where she found it difficult to contact her mother after school.
“At the time, I could not spot my mum outside the school where she usually picks me up and there were no teachers around too.
“I had to walk up and down the street to look for my mum’s car and finally did after a while.
“It will be much faster and more convenient if I had my mobile phone with me,” she said, adding that she would follow the rules set by the school if mobile phones are allowed.
SK Tengku Mahmud Iskandar 2 pupil Siti Rohani Sadir also hopes that mobile phones would be allowed so that she can contact her parents for emergencies like when she forgets to bring a book to school.
The Year Six pupil said she usually switches off her device before going to physical classes now that schools have reopened.
“Some of my schoolmates secretly bring their smartphones to school and hide the devices in the toilets.
“They do not use their mobile phones in class and will only take them out to snap photos of each other during break time,” she said.
Meanwhile, R. Chitra, who is a mother of two primary school boys, said she is against the idea as it might lead to unwanted problems.
“I feel that it is not suitable, especially for primary school children.
“Besides peer pressure in comparing device models, I think the lack of adult supervision might lead them to misuse the mobile devices for negative content as there is only so much a teacher can manage in a class of 30 to 40 pupils,” said the 42-year-old.
Over in George Town, Penang, Adrian Wong, 44, not only equips his 10-year-old daughter with a smartphone but also a smart watch which accepts a SIM card.
“A SIM card can be inserted into the watch. It is equipped with GPS tracking for me to know her whereabouts all the time.
“The watch can make calls, get notifications and send voice messages, but no gaming or fancy features that may distract her from schoolwork.
“It improves security and communication between us when in need and the watch is set to have only limited features during her school hours,” said the graphics designer.
Wong added that as the cost of mobile phones becomes affordable, it might be a more viable option for other parents than the watch which costs just as much.
Company manager Muhammad Faris Zaihan, 54, whose children are aged 15 and 17, said mobile phones are now essential tools to source for information and they should be allowed in school.
“Now that most lessons are being conducted online and mobile phones are widely used in our daily lives, they have become common tools even for our children.
“Instead of laptops, phones are cheaper and smaller,” he said.