Engagement in physical activities contributes to a child’s holistic development. Learning various sports at a young age often transitions to healthy adulthood. And educational institutions, the World Health Organization emphasizes, are an avenue to inculcate such a mindset.
But with the advent of the technological era, health benefits of an active lifestyle are hardly cherished. Children, regrettably, are the most vulnerable to being sedentary creatures—in relation to their inseparability with gadgets and mobile games.
In an effort to break the unsettling fixation of children with their cellular phones, Doane Schools in Leyte—Doane Baptist School in Isabel and Doane Christian Academy in Palompon—have banned the use of gadgets within the school premises and during school hours, among the Grade 1 to 10 students.
On a Facebook status posted on March 4, 2019, which has garnered 31,000 shares as of writing, a picture of the announcement of the ban states: “Strictly no playing of any mobile games any time around the campus.” The picture is followed by other photos that show how kids’ attention, consequently, turned to physical activities.
For Joshua Caleb Hocson, the Pastor Administrator of Doane Schools who initiated the prohibition, the primary purpose of the ban is to shift the focus of the students to their academic responsibilities.
“I noticed that during school events, students play mobile games instead of participating in the activities,” Hocson tells MBody.
With the concurrence of the teachers and the parents—the latter of whom attest to the children’s divided attention even at home—the ban was implemented last February, by the third quarter of the 2018-2019 school year.
Children in the digital age
In a 2018 research conducted by an overseas advertising consultancy, the Philippines topped 40 other countries in the world in terms of social media usage. Almost 70 million Filipinos are active Internet users, and spend an average of four hours a day on social media sites. Furthermore, the majority’s access to the cyber world is through a mobile device.
In another study made in 2015, it has been revealed that the most common age for a Filipino child to own a mobile phone is 10 years old; it comes as no surprise that the present day is tagged as the touch screen generation.
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