The children’s exposure to gadgets and their eventual addiction to digital platforms are what Hocson and the school try to alleviate. He clarifies, though, that the devices are not confiscated. The mobile phones remain at the possession of the students, for emergency measures.
“Out of their respect for authorities, we haven’t received any rebellious response so far. They’re disciplined enough to follow instructions. Some would also report to us if a classmate or a schoolmate plays mobile games in secret. Any violation comes with a counselling session,” says Hocson.
He adds that other disciplinary actions include cleaning of a certain area in school, or finishing the students’ remaining academic work, if any.
Children’s way out of the virtual world
According to the Department of Health, children aged five to 12 years old should engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activities every day which can be in the form of active daily tasks like doing household and/or school chores; exercise through dance and/or sports; and high impact active play of physical games suitable for kids.
In Doane Baptist School, students have learned how to spend their vacant time away from their gadgets. Some would go to the library to study, while some would play board games like chess, sports like basketball, and traditional Pinoy larong-kalye like piko, Chinese garter, and langit-lupa, among others.
Hocson confirms that due to the students’ new-found interest in activities that are played out of the gadget screens, the children have developed better interpersonal skills and improved their academic performance.
“These kids spend eight hours a day, five times a week at school. What the school trains them for is a big factor on who they will be in the future. We want them to be relevant in the society someday,” Hocson ends.
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