Business Technology

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Japanese Schoolchildren to be banned from using smartphones after 9pm

Aishling Phelan

Published 24/03/2014 | 10:24

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The game app is free to use on smartphones
The game app is free to use on smartphones

A Japanese city will ban children from using smartphones after 9pm in a bid to reduce the time spent on mobile devices and instances of bullying.

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The ambitious campaign will see a nightly curfew for youngsters between six and 15.

Around 13,000 schoolchildren living in Kariya city will be banned from using mobile technology in the evening from April 1.

The technology curfew will be put in place to prevent youths spending an unhealthy amount of time using devices. The initiative seeks to reduce bullying among young people on smartphones via instant messaging apps and social media.

The ban was initially proposed by a group of teachers, social workers and police.

It is being launched just weeks after the government released statistics reflecting the extensive use of smartphones among Japan's school population.

It was not officially issued by city hall so parents will not face any penalties if their children do not comply with the curfew, according to Japanese media.

Some 21 schools across the city, along with Kariya's board of education, support the digital ban.

Parents have been directly requested to remove smartphones after 9pm and monitor the websites their children access.

Recent figures found that schoolchildren aged between 10 and 17 were spending an average of 107.4 minutes a day on-line on their phones.

Almost 40 per cent were spending more than two hours a day online.

Popular messaging and image-sharing app Line, has been linked with cases of bullying among children, prompting calls for it to be banned on school premises.

A number of schools are considering mobile phone bans for pupils because the harmful effects of heavy mobile phone use.

The Burnage Media Arts College in south Manchester in the UK reported better academic results following such a ban.

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