The Netherlands bans phones and smart watches in classrooms


Phones, tablets and smartwatches will be largely banned from classrooms in the Netherlands from January 1, 2024, the Dutch government has said, in an effort to limit distractions during lessons.

Devices will only be allowed if they are specifically needed, for example during digital skills lessons, for medical reasons or for people with disabilities.

“Even though phones are intertwined with our lives, they don’t belong in the classroom,” said the Minister of Education, Robbert Dijkgraaf.

“Students should be able to concentrate and should be given the opportunity to study well. Phones are a nuisance, research shows. We must protect students from this,” he said.

The ban is the result of an agreement between the ministry, schools and organizations.

If the ban is not enforced, according to Dijkgraaf, legal procedures will be followed.

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