LATER this year mobile phones will be banned from schools in France.

Pupils are already forbidden from using phones in French classrooms but starting in September they will will be barred from taking them out at breaks, lunch times and between lessons.

Jean Michel Blanquer, the French education minister said children “don’t play at break time anymore” and instead “are just all in front of their smartphones.”

With a number of schools in Fermanagh having a similar policy, The Impartial Reporter took to the streets of Enniskillen to gauge the thoughts of parents and students...

Erin McManus, 20, is studying health and social care at South West College.

Impartial Reporter:

“Students don’t listen to what they are being told because they are on their phones. I did this in school, it was a distraction. I was on Snapchat during school. Snapchat is the big thing now, more people of this generation use it during the day rather than Facebook to take pictures of each other. I think they should be banned during the day at schools if they are causing such a distraction.

“I think they would look at them when they shouldn’t be and if you look at students these days they are looking at their phones underneath the tables, you can tell they are doing it. If they don’t have their phones they would listen to what they are being taught. When I was looking at my phone in school I was probably texting the boyfriend when I should have been listening!”

Jamie McFarlane, 21, is studying business at South West College, Enniskillen.

Impartial Reporter:

“It depends what age you are, if you are mature enough to have a phone you should be able to have it. I’d say for younger people, primary school, secondary school, you shouldn’t really need it. I think people are inclined to take their phone out if they are bored, and then they are busy on it.

“Social networking is part of the problem, definitely, because they are communicating with each other when they shouldn’t be. They should be focused on what they are being taught, on what they should be doing. I am guilty of doing that in the past... I still do it now!”

James Stevenson, Lisbellaw.

Impartial Reporter:

“In our house the iPad and phone has been stopped, disallowed in the house. Why? Snapchat, Instragram, social networking. It is never turned off. It has become a distraction, our daughter won’t meet her friends at the weekend because if she “leaves the house she’ll lose signal on the iPad.

There’s a school in Fermanagh and if they are caught with their phones it is taken off them and not returned until the end of the week and it’s the parent who has to pick it up. I agree with that, because they are sitting picking on each other during class, they are bullying each other on social media. They are not learning anything, they won’t interact with each other, they wont interact with the teacher, they are sitting with their heads on a phone.”

Naomi Hicks, 20, also studies health and social care at South West College.

Impartial Reporter:

“No, mobile phones should not be banned! I feel you can interact with your phone and study at the same time. You can use your phone when you are learning, there are a lot of interactive apps that you can use. I do use Snapchat during class, it helps me concentrate more because I don’t feel like I am missing out on my phone, like whatever my friend needs to fill me in on. I wouldn’t like if someone took my phone off me, I would be constantly thinking of my phone, that I haven’t got it. I think if you did that more people would spend the time worrying where there phone is rather than learning. I would be one of those people, yes!”