Good morning and 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
hand phones 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 hand phones in Malaysia, it would be a grave mistake to allow
school students to bring them to school. Firstly, possession of hand phones
distracts students from their studies. In fact, the main reason why the
government has made it illegal for drivers to use hand phones while on the road
is that it increases risks of accidents. Likewise, hand phone 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, hand phones are becoming cheaper to own. With the introduction of
the prepaid system, many students even from poor backgrounds are able to own
hand phones. Thus, I have personally witnessed how students compete to buy
expensive handphones with the latest features. Video phones 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 black mail 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 hand phones, 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 hand
phone 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 hand phones 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 hand phones should be banned from the
school premises due to its negative effects. Thank you.