Teenagers in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) cannot imagine a single day without their mobile phones, and they often use them during classes. In the Prijedor (Republic of Srpska) Hospitality-Economic School all classrooms are equipped with lockers for storage of mobile phones. It was checked how everything works and whether there is a resistance.
At the class of Serbian language, students of the first grade of the Hospitality High School looked sadly toward the locker with their mobile phones. The decision to leave phones during classes was agreed between the School Principal, the Teaching Council, the Parents’ Council and the Student Council.
“All the students boycotted at the beginning, but we got used to it and everything is fine now, “ said Maja Fustar, a first-year student of the Prijedor Hospitality-Economic School.
Why are young people using phones and was there an excessive use of the phone in classes?
“I am not familiar with the situation in other departments, but in ours it was quite moderate, mostly on short and long breaks or after school. There were classes when we used phones, especially if we were bored, so we mostly played games, talked with friends and nothing more. Just that, “ Maja said.
“I did not feel comfortable because I am used to have the phone always with me, “ said Milan Petkovic, a student of the first grade of the Prijedor Hospitality-Economic School and adds: “When the classes are boring, we play some games, or we chat with our friends.”
Asked if he thinks is it appropriate to play games during school classes, he answers:
“I don’t think it is appropriate, but if the professor allows it and if we do not have anything else to do, if it is boring, I think this is all right.”
Sincere students, however, are aware that this decision will help them to focus better on teaching. The rules are rules, as they say.
A School Principal, who has over 400 students, says the goal was to raise the quality of teaching. She is satisfied with public reactions and support from colleagues, students and parents.
“There are no calls, no messages, no games and Internet only during the class. At the moment when the class is over, a student can take his phone from a place which is marked with his student number, and use it without any problems. We did not forbid the contact with parents or anybody else. We do not force children to leave the phone. But everyone knows very well that the decision was made jointly, “ said Valentina Sovilj, the Principal of the Prijedor Hospitality-Economic School.
The use of mobile phones in classes is a topic which is not precisely defined in domestic legislation. Because of the abuse that happened before, and the lower concentration of students, the Government of France was one of the first in the world to announce that from the next September, they will completely prohibit students of primary and high schools from using mobile phones.
With the beginning of classes, mobile phones are being put in these lockers. They introduced this practice at the Hospitality-Economic School in Prijedor, where they say they would not be bothered if other schools in BiH followed their example.