The Region of Murcia will ban the use of mobile phones in schools as of Monday

The Regional Ministry of Education, through the Directorate General for Human Resources, Educational Planning and Innovation, has issued instructions regulating the prohibition of the use of mobile phones and other electronic devices in schools in the Region of Murcia as of Monday, 8 January.

The text states that the use of mobile phones will not be allowed for students during the school day, understood as the space of time that includes school hours, recreation time and periods devoted to the development of complementary and extracurricular activities, unless it is expressly provided for in the educational project of the centre for educational purposes.

Use shall also be understood as the fact of keeping these devices operational. Likewise, in the rules of coexistence, schools may limit their use in other periods, activities and spaces within their competence.

The instructions state that the use of these devices will be allowed for students who require it for reasons of necessity and exceptionality, in accordance with the provisions of the school’s coexistence regulations.

The Regional Minister for Education, Víctor Marín, stressed that this measure, which has already been implemented in the majority of schools in the Region of Murcia, “represents regulatory support and reinforces the pedagogical autonomy of schools, as well as the authority of the teacher”.

Marín recalled that the decision was taken after a round of contacts with around thirty representatives of the educational community, “which we welcome as a step prior to the constitution of the working group of experts that will take place in the coming days”.

“Teaching how to use is the challenge facing us today”, said the Education Minister, who said that in the working group “we will not only address the issue of schoolchildren’s devices because the field of digitalisation is extremely complex, but we will also deal with critical issues such as the security and privacy of pupils’ data, artificial intelligence and digital ethics, among others”.

The use of mobile devices in classrooms is already a minor, serious or very serious offence, and is included in Decree 16/2016, of 9 March, which establishes the rules of coexistence in non-university educational centres supported with public funds of the Autonomous Community.

This document establishes minor, serious or very serious sanctions depending on the misuse of the mobile phone, ranging from a reprimand to possible expulsion from the centre.

In order to acquire specific training in digital competences, 21,500 teachers and professors in the region were trained last year with the #DigitalProf programme, for the acquisition of levels A1, A2 and B1 of the Framework of Reference for Digital Competence in Teaching.

This figure exceeded the milestone set by Europe for the Region of Murcia, set at the accreditation of 20,800 teachers by 2025. In addition, 667 digital plans were carried out in educational centres.

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