The Knowledge, an online news site, reports Robbert Dijkgraaf, the Dutch education minister, will be banning smartphones, smartwatches and tablets from classrooms starting next year.

His reasoning is that teachers ‘deserve the undivided attention of their students’, and pilot schemes show that mobile-free lessons boost attainment levels and reduce online bullying.

None of that is rocket science and is backed up by research, so should never have been allowed in the first place.

As an adult I now wear blue light glasses for computer work having read of the possible dangers of blue light exposure, and have seen a dramatic reduction of headaches as a direct result.

So we as the adults should be listening to the advice of the experts and taking action.

Schools can buffet initial objections and phone attachment anxiety by having the children place their phones in a visible plastic organiser with pockets on the classroom wall during lessons, with all phones on silent unless permission is granted otherwise.

Who knows?

It may even lead to children not taking their phones to school at all.

But wouldn’t it be lovely if it resulted in going back to my era when the most that happened was the odd note being passed round the classroom, and children actually interacted with each other during breaks?

The report suggests the UK follow suit, and I second that with the Isle of Man being proactive by getting in there first.

Over to you Education Minister Julie Edge MHK.

Name and address supplied

This letter was first published in the Manx Independent of on July 27.

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