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Mobile use in schools

ASSOCHAM's survey of children who use mobile phones reveals interesting insights about this subscriber base.

It is now official. Indian school children use the mobile phone far more than they are formally allowed to. If that surprises no one, some of the facts from the research carried out by ASSOCHAM (The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India)are nevertheless interesting.
For instance, the mobile carrying phenomenon begins earlier than is generally assumed. By 12 years, one in two school students is carrying a mobile; by the age of 14, three of four children have them; and by 18 years, nine of ten have a phone on them.
ASSOCHAM’s secretary general, DS Rawat, points out that in spite of schools frowning on students carrying the gizmo, more than two thirds of the teens interviewed confessed to using a phone on school premises. ASSOCHAM’s press release disapprovingly describes the children’s behaviour as bizarre instead of seeing it as a widespread social issue.
The survey says that students who use the mobile excessively are more likely to suffer from disrupted sleep, restlessness, stress and fatigue. It adds that there ‘seems to be’ a connection between heavy mobile usage and smoking, snuffing and the use of alcohol, but does not elaborate on this correlation.
The research has been carried out by ASSOCHAM’s Social Development Foundation in Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Chennai, Cochin, Dehradun, Goa, Hyderabad, Indore, Patna and Pune during September-November this year. A total of 2,000 parents and 2,500 students were interviewed.
Why do parents get mobiles for their children? The main reason is that it keeps children busy and leaves parents free to get on with their lives. Besides, parents feel that if children entertain themselves with the mobile, they are less likely to keep bad company. And, of course, more than half the parents would like their wards to keep the mobile at all times because they feel reassured that their kids are only a call away.
Apart from talking, 83 per cent of students use their phones to take pictures and 64 per cent share pictures with others. Sixty per cent listen to music on their phones and 46 per cent play mobile games. One third of the students surveyed use their mobiles to exchange videos, as also for instant messaging.
Going by gender, 69 per cent of girls text several times a day just to say hi and to chat; in comparison, only 42 per cent of boys do likewise. Most girls are clearly addicted to SMS: 56 per cent of the girls surveyed send almost 50 text messages per day.

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