Professor Ben Honyenuga, Vice-Chancellor of the Ho Technical University, has said it is time for the Ghana Education Service (GES) to rethink the ban on students who use mobile phones in second-cycle institutions.
He said, “mobile phones are now a learning tool and perhaps we should allow the students to use it while we control its usage.”
Prof Honyenugamade the commentin reaction to the speech by Headmaster of Bishop Herman College, on challenges the School was facing with the use of mobile phones by 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 electricity 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 some money.
Prof Honyenuga, an old student of the School, said although there were challenges that resulted in the ban, with the upsurge of the Covid-19 pandemic and the need for digitisation, there could be controlled use of the mobile phone.
He said mobile phones are like computers and if the students are allowed to use them in school, they would serve as replacement for computers.
“My view, looking at Covid-19 and the way we want to achieve digitisation in 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 are 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 the phones and a period where the phones are collected from them.
He said although the ban was well-intended and had achieved its end, it is time to amend the policy.
Prof Honyenuga, who pursued further studies 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 so.