Nobody will argue against the fact that technology has come to stay and making life more enjoyable for this generation the previous only dreamed of.
The internet has made it possible to access information so easily and at faster rate. Even now, one can just dial a code on the phone and his or her National Health Insurance card renewed within a couple of minutes. It has taken away a situation where people will have to queue for long hours just to renew their Insurance card.
Undoubtedly, technology, in this case the mobile phone, is a blessing.
When it comes to usage of the mobile devices by the Senior High Schools in Ghana, the ministry of education observed that, the usage of the devices has become worrying and that led to total ban on the student usage by the school authorities.
Students used the phone primarily to communicate with their families and friends. But the worrying trend was that most of these students were abusing the opportunity given them.
Some of them spent hours especially during off peak times as some telecom offer low cost call charges and sometimes free calls in the late night.
Such students come to class and either dozing or sleeping altogether which in turn had a toll on their academic performances.
Below I have outlined the negative implications the mobile phone usage is having on the high school students.
- Distraction is one major issue when it comes to phone usage. It is not only among the students but even among adults. In my case, when am hooked to YouTube or Facebook and am watching series of videos or following an interesting story or debate, I end up forgetting or losing control over of what I was originally doing.
If care is not taken, students, as young as they are will be distracted from class assignment or homework.
- Distraction will lead to spending time unnecessarily. Looking at the volume of their school syllabus, students need to use their time well in order to prepare themselves adequately for their final examinations.
- As young as these students are, in their quest to inquire, they tend to visit websites or have access to content which are not appropriate.
Adult content are easily accessible in this open internet highway with little or no laws regulating the internet, students are prone to fall victims.
- Criminal organizations are using the internet to recruit people to champion their evil ideologies. Teenagers who are sometimes naive fall into that trap and become partakers.
It may interest you to know how some people are engaging in online scam. Recently in Ghana, one tactics scammers have adopted to scam people is the use of mobile phone. And some of these perpetrators are also students.
- Online gambling has become the order of the day. When one passes besides one such betting centre, most of the people patronizing (customers) the place are people of school going age, some of whom are not even 18 years.
Now with internet and smartphones made handy, these customers do not even have to go those betting centres, they can easily place a bet online and pay and get paid by mobile money platform.
- It has made some students not even pay attention in class or, in worse situations, no interest in schooling altogether.
- Cyber bulling is one issue people who are using the internet today have to be wary of, just as there are bullying in schools. By definition, it is a type of bullying using electronic means.
It is an attempt or the act to harass, target, threaten or embarrass others using technology.
According kidshealth.org, a website dedicated to the interest and welfare of kids, recent studies indicated that 25% of teens have been bullied online and 1 out 6 admitted to have bullied someone online before.
In one study, more than half of the teens interviewed said they experience some kind of online bullying through social Media.
- Examination malpractices has become a major challenge for the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the Ghana Education Service ( GES). Every year, tens of thousands of candidates have had some papers or all papers cancelled due to exams malpractices.
What has fueled this menace is the use of the mobile phone. Social Media more especially has been used to spread the leaked papers across and shared instantly.
For this reason some candidates try to send the mobile devices to the examination hall during the time of the Examination writing, something which is against WAEC’s rules and regulations governing examination writing.
- Security wise, some of the students don’t have much knowledge about online security and privacy.
They may be coerced to give out vital information about themselves or their families, which criminals can use to cause blackmailing or have access to private accounts or impersonating.
- Addiction is a another issue which can negatively affect teens who are always hooked to their mobile devices.
Some teenagers have become so glued to their phone to the extent that, when the phone is not with them a few hours, they feel restless.
Read Also : How Technology Can Help in The Classroom
In view of the above discussion it is clear, parents, teachers and all other stakeholders in the education sector should, as a matter or urgency, put measures in place to curb or regulate mobile phones usage among the young ones.
Students also have to be educated on the best practices when it comes to mobile phone usage. They should also be taught how to protect themselves when online and not to give vital information when asked when filling a form online.
They should also be wary on how criminals are lurking on every corner of the internet space just to have their unsuspecting victims to prey on.
The mobile can be a great tool for learning but at the same time, can ruin lives.
What the ministry of education is to make available mobile devices such tablets that are preloaded with all the essential books and learning materials.
The devices can be configured in such a way that it can access only approved websites of online content.
Despite the fact that mobile devices can used in the wrong way, let us find way to regulate it and see its usefulness.
Don’t hesitate to use the comment box below to provide a feedback or continue discussion.