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The Netherlands will prohibit cell phones in classrooms next year.

The Dutch government said on Tuesday that beginning on January 1, 2024, cell phones, tablets, and smartwatches will be mainly barred from classrooms in an effort to reduce disruptions to students’ attention during class.

Only in exceptional circumstances, such as during instruction on digital skills, for people with impairments, or for medical reasons, will devices be permitted.

Robbert Dijkgraaf, the minister of education, said in a statement that although mobile phones are a part of our daily life, they have no place in the classroom.

“It’s important that students have the time and space to study well. The use of mobile phones is disruptive, according to studies. Students need to be shielded from this.”

The agreement to enforce the ban was reached by the ministry, educational institutions, and affiliated groups.

Dijkgraaf has stated that schools are free to implement the prohibition in whatever way they see fit; but, if sufficient results are not achieved by the summer of 2024, formal guidelines will be implemented.

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