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Phones in Kolkata schools: what’s allowed and what’s not

Educational institutions have allowed senior students to use mobiles on campus but they have to follow the rules laid down by institutes, heads said

Jhinuk Mazumdar | Published 29.08.22, 07:14 AM
Representational image.

Representational image.

File photo

Students cannot be expected to stop using mobile phones after the dependency that developed in the last two years, but they have to be taught to make judicious use of the device, said several school heads.

A number of schools have allowed senior students to use mobile phones on the campus but they have to follow the rules laid down by the institutes, the heads said.


After two years of online classes, students often try to smuggle in mobile phones into school bags, hoping to evade the teacher’s eye. On many occasions they are successful, but the occasional ring in the classroom or the habit of browsing social media gets them caught.

The permissible age of owning a device has reduced after the pandemic and students as young as 10 have a phone.

The Telegraph speaks to school heads on what is permissible and what is not.

Need for phone

The phone is used as an educational tool in some schools. Modern High School for Girls allows students of classes XI and XII to carry phones to the classroom.

And even after the resumption of in-person class, the school has not done away with online platforms.

“If a teacher is absent she can give task on the online platform. Students can do it while a substitute teacher, who may not be a subject expert, supervises,” said principal Damayanti Mukherjee.

Indus Valley World School allows use of cellphone to assign time for research work undertaken by senior students.

In some schools, students are allowed to use smartphones in photography classes.

Senior students at many schools are allowed to carry cellphones because they often go to tuition, or dance or music class and parents need to be in touch with them.

“Some students leave home around 6am and get back at 8pm. It is not acceptable that parents do not remain in touch with them for 14 hours,” said Amita Prasad, director, Indus Valley World School.

What is banned?

Browsing social media on the phone is not allowed on the campus, teachers said.

“If a phone rings or a student is seen taking pictures on the campus and posting them on social media, the device is confiscated,” said a teacher.

“Students are allowed to carry phones because they may need to contact their parents after school or book an app cab, but the mobile phone cannot be used to make calls to anybody while on campus,” a school head said.

“If they have to make an urgent call to the parent from school, it has to be from the school phone and

Educating the child

Schools are organising workshops where students are trained by ethical hackers in judicious use of mobile phones.

Lakshmipat Singhania Academy have organised such sessions and Sushila Birla Girls’ School have one planned.

“We cannot expect children to stay away from mobile phones after two years of online classes (because of the pandemic). But we have to educate them because children have become addicted to the phones and are more willing to take chances, having forgotten the consequences of being caught in school,” said Sharmila Bose, director, Sushila Birla Girls’ School.

Confiscation rules

When a student breaks rules on phone usage, there are punitive actions. But high dependency of students on phones has prompted schools to make a change there. Phones are still confiscated but the rules have changed.

For example, at Modern High School for Girls, a phone seized from a student would not be returned to her before the end of the term. Now, the device is returned after a few days.

Last updated on 29.08.22, 07:14 AM

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