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2008年12月27日 (土)

学校ケータイ―家族と共にルール作りを

2008/12/27

--The Asahi Shimbun, Dec. 26(IHT/Asahi: December 27,2008)

EDITORIAL: Cellphone ban in schools

学校ケータイ―家族と共にルール作りを


The Osaka prefectural board of education is calling on public elementary and junior high schools to ban pupils and students from bringing cellphones into school as a general rule. The Meeting on Education Rebuilding, a government panel, also put together a draft report to the same effect. The problem of children and cellphones has become a major issue.

 子どもたちが学校に携帯電話を持ち込むのは原則ノー。大阪府教育委員会が公立小中学校向けにこんなメッセージを発信した。政府の教育再生懇談会も「原則持ち込み禁止」の素案を取りまとめた。子どもと携帯電話の問題が大きく浮上している。 

The prefectural board's decision is also in line with Osaka Governor Toru Hashimoto's policy. Already, most public elementary and junior high schools in the prefecture prohibit pupils and students from bringing cellphones to school and as such, the actual impact of the ban will not be that great.

 府教委の方針は橋下徹知事の意向でもある。府内ではすでに小中学校ごとの持ち込み禁止が広まっており、実質上の影響はさほど大きくない。 

The governor stated clearly that "excessive dependence (on cellphones) stands in the way of studies and health." Indeed, a survey by the prefectural board that looked into how children actually use cellphones showed that many of them are virtually addicted to their handsets. Fifteen percent of first-year junior high school students surveyed said they use their cellphones for three hours or more each day and one in 10 said they send more than 50 text messages daily.

 とはいえ、知事は「過度の依存は学習、健康の妨げになる」と言い切った。確かに、府教委の実態調査から浮かび上がる「子どもの1日」はケータイ漬けそのものだ。中1では携帯電話を「3時間以上使用する」が全体の15%、10人に1人が「51回以上メールを送信する」と答えていた。 

Fifteen percent of junior high school students said that when they receive text messages, they answer them within three minutes. According to teachers, there seems to be a tacit rule among pupils and students that one must answer messages within three minutes. They are apparently gauging their closeness to each other with the quickness in which they reply.

 メールが届いたら3分以内に返信するという中学生は15%。現場の教師に聞くと、3分以内で打ち返すという暗黙のルールもあるらしい。返信の早さで互いの親密度を測る。そんな人間関係が広がっているのだろうか。 

The survey also revealed that children who reply on their cellphones tend to spend less time studying at home and their lives are more irregular than those who are not.

 調査では、ケータイ漬けの著しい子ほど家庭での学習時間が短く、生活習慣が乱れていることもわかった。 

This trend is thought to be more or less common throughout the nation. According to the National Congress of Parents and Teachers Association of Japan, one in five fifth-graders at elementary schools carries a cellphone.

 こうしたことは、多かれ少なかれ全国共通の傾向だろう。日本PTA全国協議会によると、小5の5人に1人が携帯電話を持つ時代なのである。 

When we think of the seriousness of the situation, we believe the decision to ban cellphones from school is reasonable.

 事態の深刻さを考えると、学校からのケータイ追放は妥当といえよう。

At the same time, however, cellphones can also be effective in protecting children from crime. The Osaka prefectural board of education also said it plans to leave it to the discretion of principals whether to individually allow children to bring cellphones to school, depending on the circumstances. Another idea is to have schools keep handsets during school hours and return them to children when they leave.

 ただ、携帯電話には子どもを犯罪から守る効能もある。大阪府教委も事情に応じて校長判断で持ち込みを認める方針という。登校後に学校で預かり、下校時に返すという方法もある。 

Of course, banning cellphones from school does not solve all problems.

 もちろん、携帯電話が学校生活から消えただけでは問題は解決しない。 

What we are concerned about is the rise in cases of bullying that use e-mail and the Internet. According to a Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology survey covering elementary, junior and senior high school students, cases of harassment that used personal computers and cellphones in the 2007 school year through March amounted to about 5,900. The figure represents an increase of about 1,000 from the previous year. The negative effects of harmful websites are another worrisome factor.

 気になるのは、メールやネットを使ったいじめの増加だ。小中高生を対象にした文部科学省調査によると、昨年度、パソコンや携帯電話などを使った嫌がらせは約5900件にのぼり、前年度に比べて約1千件増えた。有害サイトの悪影響も心配されている。 

It is time for society as a whole to deal with the situation. One idea that is being mooted is to promote the use of cellphones with limited functions for verbal communication and the global positioning system so parents, guardians and family members will know the location of the carrier at all times. There is also a service called filtering that limits access to harmful websites. We need to seriously think, together with cellphone-related businesses, about creating handset models and services designed exclusively for children.

 もはや、世の中全体で対策に乗り出すべきときだ。たとえば居場所を知らせる全地球測位システム(GPS)や通話機能に限定したものを広める方法もある。有害サイトの閲覧を制限するフィルタリングというサービスもある。携帯電話にかかわる企業を巻き込んで、子ども向けの機種やサービスを広めることを真剣に考えたい。 

But homes play the most important role. If parents establish rules such as not allowing the use of cellphones during mealtimes and turning them off at night, school rules would also be more effective.

 そして、最も重要なのは家庭の役割だ。「食卓で使わない」「夜は電源を切る」など使用のルールをつくれば、学校のルールも生きてこよう。 

 なにより、子どもたちをケータイ漬けから救い出し、顔と顔を見合わせて意思を交わす本来のコミュニケーション能力を高めてやりたい。教室も家庭も、そんな場であるべきだ。 

Above all, we need to save children from addiction to cellphones and help them enhance real communication skills to exchange ideas with others face to face. Both classrooms and homes should serve for such a purpose.

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