You are a member of the school debating team which opposes the motion that ‘Handphones should be allowed in schools’.
Good morning and a warm welcome to the respectable judges, the opposition team, teachers and fellow students. First of all, I would like to convey my gratitude for being given the opportunity to represent the team that opposes the motion handphones should be allowed in schools.
There are many important reasons why hand phones or cellular phones should not be allowed at the school premises. Although recent years have witnessed an “explosion” of handphones in Malaysia, it would be a grave mistake to allow school students to bring them to school. Firstly, possession of handphones distracts students from their studies. In fact, the main reason why the government has made it illegal for drivers to use handphones while on the road is that it increases the risks of accidents. Likewise, handphone users at schools would be busy either sending short message texts (SMS) or calling their friends when they should be focusing on their studies.
Secondly, handphones are becoming cheaper to own. With the introduction of the prepaid system, many students even from poor backgrounds are able to own handphones. Thus, I have personally witnessed how students compete to buy expensive handphones with the latest features. Videophones are the latest craze and there have been cases reported in the press whereby students have used the phones to film other students in compromising positions. They have in fact used the films to blackmail the targeted student or sell them to VCD peddlers or even circulate them through the internet.
Thirdly, there are still many poor students who are unable to afford these phones which I would consider a luxury rather than a necessity. Hence, they face a tremendous amount of pressure to own handphones, some even resorting to stealing or shoplifting. The undue pressure on them is unhealthy. Instead of feeling the pressure to perform better at school, students face competition to show off their wealth and possessions. This is leading to the spread of negative materialistic culture which our Eastern society abhors.
Fourthly, students have been apprehended using the SMS to cheat in the examinations. Many teachers have caught them red-handed using this latest handphone technology to cheat and do well in the exams. Those who have not been caught continue to engage in this illicit method to further their academic achievements. Honest and ethical students feel undermined by this and many are prepared to throw in the towel and cheat as well. They fail to see the point of studying hard and competing fairly in the exams when others who do not put in any effort at all to earn high marks.
Supporters of handphones say that they should be allowed to be used in schools for emergency purposes. Though I concede that parents and students should stay in touch via phones in cases of emergency, it does not mean that handphones are the solution. School authorities must make the effort to install and make available more public phones. Phone use should be restricted to the morning or lunch breaks
I am sure that most, if not all of you, would agree with my position on this issue. Hence, I would reiterate that handphones should be banned from the school premises due to its negative effects. Thank you.