Empty classroom
Teachers are now banned from using cell phones during school hours in Karnataka. [Representational image]Creative Commons

Karnataka has now banned school teachers from using mobile phones during the school hours. The state education department has issued a circular with regard to it.

The circular was issued for teachers and other employees working in government and private schools as the government felt mobile usage hampers the teaching activities. Though the headmasters and headmistresses are exempted during school hours, they cannot use during the teaching hours, The Times of India reported.

"If there are complaints about using cell phones during school hours, headmasters/headmistresses will be held responsible," the circular reads. It also stated that the headmaster or headmistress will be responsible for ensuring the rule is properly implemented and if they failed to do so, they will face action.

"The ban is applicable to all schools in the state. The block education officers have to send the circular to private schools in their jurisdiction," B K Basavaraja, director of public instruction (primary education) was quoted as saying by The Times of India.

However, the teachers are allowed to use their mobile phones during teaching hours only if it is for educational purpose. Basavaraja clarified that they should not attend personal calls or text as it disrupts the learning experience.

"Our only concern is that phones must not be misused in classrooms. If a teacher wants to use a phone for the purpose of teaching, that can be allowed. But they cannot answer personal calls or chat while at work. It distracts students and affects teaching," Basavaraja added.

The students have been asked to report if a teacher is found using a mobile phone in the classroom. Following which, they can raise a complaint to the Block Education Officer (BEO). Not surprisingly, the student's identity will be kept confidential, Deccan Chronicle reported.

However, the circular did not mention a word about the students using the mobile phones in school. Upon enquiring with the department officials, they claimed that the students usually do not bring mobile phones to school, reports TOI.