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DepEd worry: Sex video in studes’ cell phones

By Edson C. Tandoc Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 04:36:00 05/30/2009

Filed Under: Education, mobile phones, Sex Videos

MANILA, Philippines?Worried the sex video craze sweeping the country may find its way into the cell phones of students, the Department of Education (DepEd) has banned the use of cell phones during classes.

Uh, what about during recess?

DepEd has resuscitated a six-year-old memorandum regulating the use of cell phones in public schools.

Uh, what about after school?

In an interview, education assistant secretary Teresita Inciong asked parents and teachers to guide their children and monitor their use of cell phones.

?The proliferation of sex videos through cell phones is one of the reasons we recommended the banning of cell phones inside classrooms,? Inciong said.

She referred to a November 2003 memorandum by former Education Secretary Edilberto de Jesus, which ?strictly imposes a ban on the use of cell phones by students during class hours.?

Curious adolescents

Inciong is particularly worried for ?adolescents? who are very curious about many things.

Education Secretary Jesli Lapus said they could not completely ban cell phones in public schools, but only during classes, because many parents want their children to bring cell phones so they could be reached during emergencies.

Lapus said his main objection to allowing cell phones inside classrooms was because ?it is distracting to teachers and other students.?

He said cell phones could also provide avenues for cheating during exams.

Inciong said: ?We want our students to be able to focus on their lessons.?

Caught texting

She noted that many of the students brought to the guidance counselors had been caught by their teachers texting during class.

?They appeared to be reading their books, with their heads bowed. But when the teachers checked on them, they were actually texting,? Inciong said.

With the memo?s revival, teachers could confiscate cell phones of students caught using them during class, Inciong said, but they should be returned after class.

She said the department also recognized the benefit of students keeping their phones, especially those who suffer from asthma or other illnesses which require medication and immediate attention.

According to the 2003 memorandum: ?Teachers and parents should devise ways to educate students on the responsible use of cell phones to prevent them from engaging in misguided and immoral activities.?

It was issued six years ago in response to the proliferation of ?lewd and obscene picture messages? sent through multimedia cell phone messages.



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