A group of State Duma and Senators have proposed an amendment to the Law “On Education” that would prohibit the use of phones in schools without the permission of teachers. The authors of the proposal aim to add a new point to Article 43 of the law, which pertains to the duties and responsibilities of students. The goal of the amendment is to improve the quality of education and foster respect for teachers.
According to the bill, students will only be allowed to use their phones for educational purposes and in emergency situations during lessons. The bill also includes disciplinary measures for students who violate internal regulations or infringe on the rights of teachers. These measures may include comments, reprimands, or deductions.
The proposed amendment also seeks to strengthen the “dominant role of the teacher in the process of learning and education in an educational organization.” The authors argue that these changes will help address the “imbalances between the legal status of the teacher and other participants in the educational process regarding the respect of human dignity and the prevention of physical and mental violence.”
Minister of Education Sergei Kravtsov has shown support for the initiative, stating that it does not involve any outright prohibitions. He emphasized the importance of students being in contact with their parents, but stressed that phone usage should only be permitted with the teacher’s permission.
Jan Lantratov, the first deputy chairman of the Committee on Enlightenment and one of the authors of the bill, shared her perspective on the proposal. She believes that this initiative will prevent students from distracting themselves and interfering with others’ learning. Lantratov also highlighted the issues that teachers face due to phones in the classroom. “Teachers themselves admit that they sometimes feel afraid to enter the classroom, as they find themselves in a vulnerable position without protection from digital threats,” she expressed. The deputy recounted incidents where students used their phones to film videos insulting teachers, provoking emotional reactions and leading to tears and health problems.
Alexei Nechaev, Leader of the New People party and another author of the bill, noted that a majority of parents (72%) support the ban on smartphones in schools. He also connected phone usage with a decrease in children’s ability to concentrate. Nechaev opined that children’s attention spans have been declining each year, making it challenging for even the most talented teacher to hold their focus. “Nowadays, they reach for their smartphones every couple of minutes. It is very difficult to concentrate,” he remarked.
The bill will undergo discussions at roundtables in the State Duma, the Public Chamber, and in