Italy bans phones in school classrooms

Use of mobile phones banned during lessons.

Italy’s education ministry on Tuesday issued schools with a letter banning the use of mobile phones during lessons, confirming the measures proposed by the new right-wing government in late November.

The letter, signed by education minister Giuseppe Valditara, described the use of cell phones as “an element of distraction” and “lack of respect to teachers” whose “authority must be restored as a priority.”

The circular added that the use of cell phones and other electronic devices may however be permitted, with the permission of the teacher, for educational and training puroposes.

The ministry stressed that it will not be introducing “disciplinary sanctions”, saying that the measures related to “a sense of responsibility”.

Italy’s schools are invited to ensure compliance with the phone ban and “if necessary, promote more stringent additions to the rules” to “prevent the misuse of these devices.”

Valditara told newspaper Corriere della Sera last month that students can leave their phones “at the entrance or in any case outside the lesson”, adding: “You go to school to study, not to chat”.