A Chinese college has introduced a mini locker system in each classroom so that students can leave their mobile phones before going to their desks to start work.

The system was introduced in all the classes at the Project Management Institute of Luoyang Institute of Science and Technology because teachers were fed up with the kids being distracted on apps like WeChat and Weibo, the Chinese version of Facebook.

Zhao Jianli, who is dean of the institute in Luoyang City in Henan Province in central China, said: “One only needs to look at the new words that are coming up to describe the distractions the kids are having, for example Phone Freak for someone that is assessed with the phone or Phubbing, which is snubbing the teacher by messing around on the phone.

“We feel that this is damaging the kids development and also causes health problems. By having a very visible reminder as they walk into each class that when they start their studies they leave their fans behind, it has really helped improve the studying atmosphere within the school. The teacher has clear sight of the fans as well and watches when the phones are taken and collected at the beginning and end of each lesson to avoid any problems.”

She added: “I am not even convinced that having a class filled with 30 people and 30 phones and all giving off electro smog is particularly safe, I am sure it affects the ability to concentrate. The reaction has been great from the students, and although at the start of the were some instances where people seem to forget to switch phones everyone now seems to have it correct – and it’s routine.”

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