GES urged to rethink ban on mobile phones in second-cycle institutions

Professor Ben Honyenuga
Professor Ben Honyenuga

Professor Ben Honyenuga, Vice-Chancellor of the Ho Technical University, has said it was time for the Ghana Education Service (GES) to rethink the ban on students use of mobile phones in second-cycle institutions.

He said, “because today, the mobile phone is a learning tool and perhaps we should allow the students to use it and control its usage.”

Prof Honyenuga said this when he touched on the Headmaster of Bishop Herman College’s speech on challenges the School was facing with the use of mobile phones by the students.

Mr Francis Dominic Kofi Kudolo, the Headmaster, in a speech during the School’s 69th Speech and Prize-Giving Day celebration, said the use of mobile phones in the school was on the rise, saying some of the students do illegal connections in the dormitories to charge the phones.

He noted that after the 2021 WASSCE, some students broke into the office of the School’s Senior Housefather and took away some seized mobile phones, attires and an amount of money.

Prof Honyenuga, an old student of the School, said although there were challenges that resulted in the ban, with the upsurge in the Covid-19 pandemic and the need for digitisation, there could be controlled use of the mobile phone.

He said the mobile phone was a computer on its own and given to students, there would be no need for computers for them.

“My view, looking at Covid-19 and the way we want to digitise education, we have to take a second look at it. How can we allow it in a controlled form?”
He said it could be piloted, adding that the phone was a working tool and it was okay to start with the children while they were in school, looking at experiences from other countries rather than a total ban.

Prof Honyenuga said although he was aware of the abuse where students chat in the night, there could be a stipulated time for the use of phones and later handed over when the period ended.

He said although the ban was well-intended and had worked, could we still say it is still very relevant looking at what is happening?

Prof Honyenuga, who had part of his education in Israel, revealed that a child born in Israel was entitled to a phone and a computer and “that is why they are ahead of us.”

He referred to the trend of the use of electric irons in some second-cycle institutions while during their era, they were not allowed to do such.

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