Last week Viet Nam News asked readers to share their thoughts about whether high-school boards should ban students using smart phones in the classroom. Here are several comments:
Andrew Burden, Canadian, Ha Noi
My eight year-old students have mobile phones or tablets. They rush at break times to play on the school's computer. Only at the end do they go to the toilet or get water.
This will only get worse in high school. Students at my private International English Language Testing System (IELST) reach for their iPhone dictionary. This trend cannot be considered a good thing.
Let's start with the basics back home. Summer meant falling off your bicycle and getting right back on, swimming lessons and multiple trips to the public library. Fall was camping, campfires and map reading using a compass and line of sight reckoning. Winter was skiing and getting ready for spring again with a first aid or bear awareness course.
That was my childhood. Now it's internet cafes, surfing the web and e-books. The cell phone is a great tool, but our youngest generation is tethered with an invisible leash they cannot unbind. These electronic slaves are worse off than Gollum of the Lord of The Rings.
Canadian school administrators are grappling with privacy laws, bullying, sexting (sending images and text about sex) and illegal downloading. Some students provoke teachers to secretly record them.
Let's return to common sense, good neighbours and the three R's. What were they again? Reading, writing and arithmetic or reduce, re-use and recycle? Let me google that and get back to you.
Lee Sae Mi, South Korean, HCM City
I am not sure that banning high-school students from using their smart phones in the classroom is good. A training course or something similar should be provided to help students control their device use and train teachers how to deal with smart-phone addiction.
Viet Nam is in a similar situation to South Korea. Many South Korean high-school students are smart-phone addicts. They enjoy posting "selfie" photos, surfing the internet, texting friends and playing games.
They even knew that their smart phones disrupt their daily life at both school and home, but they cannot live a day without them. They feel worried, depressed and sleepless is they are without their toys.
The South Korean Government had to run nationwide counselling programs for youngsters and train teachers how to deal with smart-phone addicts.
Hai Lam, Vietnamese, Da Nang
Smart-phone addiction, a global trend, can harm social and interpersonal relationships, so high-school boards had better ban their students from using the gadgets in class.
The Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training also should kick off "Don't be a slave to your mobile phone" campaign to curb the situation. This happened in India.
Dang Cao Thanh Phong, Vietnamese, Can Tho
Whether high-school boards should ban smart phones in the classroom has been one of the most debatable issues in recent years. As a high-school student, I think school boards should only ban smart phones in school hours and during exams, letting students use them freely during short breaks between lessons.
Using smart phones at school has both negative and positive effects. One of the disadvantages is that smart phones have become entertainment tools that students usually use in classroom, therefore, instead of looking at the board when their teachers are giving them lessons, students are playing games.
This is a real barrier interrupting students' study in the classroom. But, if students use them properly, the phones can have great advantages, including enabling parents to keep in touch with their children.
Nguyen Phuc Truong, Vietnamese, Ha Noi
High-school boards should ban students from using smart phones. We all know that smart phones are convenient, but also cause many problems.
Most students use mobile phone for entertaining, accessing social networks or playing games. This makes it hard for students to focus on their studies. How can they study if the phone is always ringing or receiving messages? — VNS