It is true that primary and secondary schools in France have completely banned the use of mobile phones by students.

The French National Assembly on July 30 this year passed a ban on kindergarten, primary and secondary school students in school use of mobile phones and other electronic devices.

However, students who violate the ban will not be detained, but their electronic equipment will be confiscated by the school.

In fact, in some countries, such as China, cell phones are banned from primary school to high school, and their students are not surprised.

Recently, an article entitled “while Chinese parents still connive at their children’s use of mobile phones, the French government has openly done this thing” has gone viral on the Internet. It mentioned that “the French government completely prohibits kindergartens, primary schools and junior high school students from using mobile phones and other electronic devices in schools,” and many readers asked whether it was true or false.

It is no joke that France does have such a ban.

The ban was approved by the French National Assembly on July 30 this year, when President Macron tweeted the matter. The main elements of the ban are:

  • Kindergarten, primary and junior high school students (note: generally applicable to the school age group 3-15 years) are prohibited from using electronic devices such as mobile phones (including tablets, smartwatches) during any teaching-related activities in and out of the classroom. Except for use for educational purposes and other expressly authorized circumstances.
  • High schools may voluntarily enforce the ban in whole or in part.
  • Exceptions are made for students with disabilities or health disorders. [1].

The ban came into effect at the start of the school year in September.

Jean-Michel Blanquer, the French education minister, said the ban was intended to help children focus on school, better socialise and reduce the use of online social media. It can also combat online bullying and reduce theft and violence in schools.

According to a detailed explanation on the website of the French Ministry of Education [2], this means that students’ mobile phones must be turned off during school hours, that each school should build lockers for students, and that students can take their mobile phones out of their lockers before leaving school.

Of course, the unauthorized use of electronic equipment by students is not subject to detention and, in general, the school may confiscate the electronic equipment in accordance with the rules of law and return it to the student or his or her guardian at the end of the day of the teaching activity.


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