1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

No more mobile phone hell (in France)

Discussion in 'Education news' started by binaryhex, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter


    Thank D Lord I don’t have to go in to school next week and do battle with students bringing their new smartphones into the classroom, constantly being looked at when they vibrate as a new message comes in, constantly arguing over why they can’t listen to music as they work, why they can’t use them to check a fact on Google (and send a message to a friend at the same time), constantly being fiddled with at the back of the classroom etc etc etc.

    Phones were the single biggest source of behaviour problems and distractions when I worked full time and stops teachers from doing their job as effectively as they could. I hated the blasted things in school. The UK needs to do what France has done immediately.

    (Message sent from my new iPhone X.)
    agathamorse likes this.
  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Be interesting to see if - in a year or 2 - the ban in France actually works...
  3. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Indeed. If it were done in the UK, no SLT would have the will to enforce it when kids start trying to debate with a teacher why the rules don't apply to them. All responsibility would be delegated to the teacher wht the SLT have a cuppa and count their payrise.
  4. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

    I like the idea of parents having to collect it after 24 hours.

    I don't understand why people are so against society changing. Some say maybe people will "lose the skills to communicate in person" but these children are essentially building the new skills needed in this modern, technological world. What would have happened if people had fought against the introduction of cars, perhaps saying things like, we will lose the ability to walk?

    Inappropriate phone use should be punished, but children shouldn't be discouraged from using them sensibly.
  5. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    I think schools will find Smart watches are also a problem after Christmas. Even when my phone is locked in the filing cabinet in school, my Smart watch beeps and shows messages. Policies will need updating for these.
  6. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Policy? How about:

  7. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Occasional commenter

  8. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Occasional commenter

    Néanmoins, M Macron, "l'étranger" [sic] though most certainly not le méteque "perish that thought" has decided to invent a new law to this effect:

    Emmanuel Macron, qui a détaillé jeudi son programme pour la présidentielle, souhaite interdire les téléphones portables dans les écoles et collèges. ( Europe1: le 02 mars 2017, modifié à 10h19, le 03 mars 2017)

    Shades of saintTony ?
  9. peter12171

    peter12171 Lead commenter

    Is there any reason it couldn’t be applied to teachers as well? Or compromise so that both staff and students can use them at break/lunch, but no other times?
  10. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    And in the toilets?;) Or would you install CCTV in the cubicles?o_O
  11. fraisier

    fraisier Occasional commenter

    Yes, it’s called the Code Napoléon but the term Code civil is far more frequently used. The bit you’ve chosen in the Code de l’Éducation, the legal educational framework within the Code civil.

    This article should shed a light on your question, in relation to the education act that you’ve linked (i.e Article L511-5: “Dans les écoles maternelles, les écoles élémentaires et les collèges, l'utilisation durant toute activité d'enseignement et dans les lieux prévus par le règlement intérieur, par un élève, d'un téléphone mobile est interdite.”)


    The reason Macron has stepped up re the mobile issue is that this 2010 bit of legislation that you’ve quoted is a little dated (I know, it's only but techie things, and their consequences, move fast these days), at any rate it is not prescriptive enough to allow the total banning of mobile phones in 3-15 schools (lycées, Y11 to Y13, so 15-18, are not affected), the current law merely bans the usage of phone during lessons and in places specified in a school’s internal regulations. When the over-arching law re mobile phones was written and voted, in 2007, the wording was probably fine in its reach as the issue was nowhere near as widespread and problematic as now but it is now felt that a serious updating is needed, hence Macron’s wish to totally ban the usage of said mobile within the school from the moment kids arrive at school to the end of the school day, so roughly from 8am to 4pm (various systems will be implemented, depending – selon – on the size of the school, the type of school etc. but I’d imagine most mid-sized schools will opt for a system of individual lockers where kids will put them on arrival

    The teaching unions, whilst supporting the measure, are not happy with the lack of details regarding the practical implementation of such a measure, eg more staff needed to enforce the ban, more € needed to build locker rooms, the actual lockers etc. and all this must be done pretty quickly as the ban is supposed to start next September (my guess is that it will be phased in, or there will be a transitional period that will give schools 1 or 2 years to implement said ban).


    L’interdiction du téléphone portable à l’école, une mesure difficilement applicable

    Le ministre de l’éducation compte renforcer dès la rentrée 2018 l’interdiction des portables, sans en préciser les modalités.
  12. peter12171

    peter12171 Lead commenter

    Your first question should be covered by allowing use of phones during break/lunch.

    The second doesn’t warrant a response!
  13. gainly

    gainly Occasional commenter

    I don't have to face this problem since I work as a private tutor not in a school. However when my students ask me for help with their homework very often they have a photo of it on their phone. It seems all the teachers assume (no doubt correctly) that everyone will have a smart phone with them. Perhaps we will have to go back to pupils copying the homework down.
    agathamorse likes this.
  14. theworm123

    theworm123 Lead commenter

    It’s fun when you’re giving a lecture and you see about 70 glowing faces whilst you’re talking. I just smugly think to myself that they’ll be knocking on my office door in tears before the exam next June because they don’t understand the content :rolleyes:.
  15. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Occasional commenter

    I read the article above from Le Monde from just before Christmas and I glanced at the readers' comments adjoined.

    The most recent seemed to sum up the situation on both sides of the channel in a few words:

    P. Charlemagne il y a 3 semaines

    En effet, cela nécessite d'avoir le courage d'user de coercition, mais c'est un terme devenu totalement tabou dans notre pauvre institution.

    Which I, who last studied French when deGaulle was a lad (almost !), render as:

    All well and good, but it will need to be enforced , obliging them to follow the rules, and forcing students to do things is a concept which has become absolutely taboo in our poor school.

    Not so different over there then it would seem.

    And I also notice that there seem to be several rival teachers unions vying to have their say in Le Monde.

    Again, just like here.

    What about salaries? Class sizes? Working hours? Length of school year?

    Just like here too?

    [To sate my curiosity I hunted the database of all(?) school timetables in France. And lighted, with or without statistical significance on the 1st one on the list.A primary school.

    The maps say it is in a rural region 200km or so NE of Marseille.

    But, sacré bleu; the méteques are, it would seem, on what is in essence a 4 day week !!!

    School finishes at 12 noon on Thursday.

    And on Wednesday they knock off at 11:30. Yes, AM !


    The sooner we get out of the EU mad-house the better, methinks.

    What madcap scheme will they dream up next à l'étranger I ask myself?]
  16. fraisier

    fraisier Occasional commenter

    You appear to know the French language well BigFrank EM, certainly well enough to read French school’s websites, Le Monde articles, the readers' comments etc. which is pretty advanced. I'm sure you know therefore what the word “métèque” means, especially as you’ve used it twice in your last two posts, once with the phrase “perish that thought” just after it ("though most certainly not le méteque, perish that thought") indicating therefore that you're fully aware of its meaning.

    So could you please tell me why you choose to use such a racist and offensive term to talk about the French? For instance when you write: “The méteques are, it would seem, on what is in essence a 4 day week !!!

    Whether you like or not the French is one thing (clearly you do not like them but that is entirely your prerogative) but going on publicly to insult French people like that in such a gratuitous way is shocking IMO. Do you talk about other countries' citizens in the same foul and offensive way? Do you call French people “métèques” when you go to France?

    (Definition of “métèque” from the petit Robert 2011: “(injure raciste/racist insult) Étranger (surtout méditérranéen) dont l’allure, le comportement sont jugés déplaisants”

    from wiki: Métèque is a pejorative word for a shifty-looking immigrant of Mediterranean origin.)
    SomethingWicked likes this.
  17. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Occasional commenter

    It's always nice to be the subject of flattery. And you didn't dwell on the obvious point that I got the spelling wrong. Thank you very much indeed.

    Before continuing, I will comment that I am of the opinion that "in foreign languages, swear words do not exist" by which I mean that although you can learn that such a word in one's own language has such another word as its equivalent in a foreign language, there are 2 major problems.

    The more important is that the funny foreign word can never have the same frisson as the totally taboo expression spurned, by well spoken people obviously, in childhood. The lesser one, though perhaps more relevant in this case, is that the charge which "equivalent" swear words have in different languages is different.

    And the use of "lesser" taboo words in a foreign language is perhaps even more problematic, as may be highlighted in this case.(Though I was using the word in a post in English, to further complicate matters.)

    Here I think I may possibly have to confess to being guilty of falling into the traps outlined above by attempting to be a bit too smart for my own good and to have played with the expression in question in an insensitive manner by apparently applying it to all French people.

    Though there is, arguably, justification for my use by way of contrast as I will try to explain below.

    There is no evidence for that charge to stick.


    However, for my original use of the term in the first of the 2 posts, I feel no need to apologise, given that the full quote, though with the spelling now corrected, was and remains:

    Néanmoins, M Macron, "l'étranger" [sic] though most certainly not le métèque "perish that thought" has decided to invent a new law to this effect

    which, for me at least, is perfectly fair comment about Macron's background and an antithetical public posture struck by him as the central component his political pitch. Perfectly fair despite the rather exaggerated status which the Constitution of the Fifth Republic accords M le Président.

    At which point, the possible justification for applying the term to "the French" would be to make the contrast, repeatedly denied by Macron, between his own highly privileged background and that of the mere hoi polloi who voted for him, in such startling numbers, last year.

    Shades of Tony Blair !

    In closing, though you are perhaps too young to remember, my acquaintance with the term originates in this beautiful, poignant song:

  18. fraisier

    fraisier Occasional commenter

    Very telling that you didn't at any point in your reply answer my two very simple questions [1) Do you talk about other countries' citizens in the same foul and offensive way? (using words such as "métèque" as you've done in this thread about the French... Definition of “métèque” from the Petit Robert 2011: -injure raciste/racist insult- Étranger (surtout méditérranéen) dont l’allure, le comportement sont jugés déplaisants”. 2) Do you call French people “métèques” when you go to France?]

    I rest my case.
  19. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I've never heard the word 'métèques' - Google translates it as 'w.o.g' (!) - and Mrs FW, who is French, says she only knows it from the George Moustaki song (which she has just sung a verse from!) and she wouldn't use it in real life. It's definitely rude.

    Just saying...
  20. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Occasional commenter

    I can only say that I did try......

    And as for the main point, not to say the big picture:

    (*) My added emphasis here; BFEM


    (*) My added emphases here: bis; BFEM

    Arguably the time has arrived, for me to laisser reposer ma valise aussi

Share This Page