It's the lunchtime break at Shanghai Xianxia Middle School. No mobile phones can be heard ringing anywhere. The previously common sight of crowds of children chatting on their phones or sending short messages has disappeared.
A Grade-2 Student said: "I couldn't concentrate during classes if the cell phone was with me. I couldn't help checking if there were messages or missed phone calls. I even played games on the phone sometimes."
Another student said:"If I was sitting beside her, I would also feel the urge to look at my phone. Then I couldn't concentrate on reading. It's a big distraction."
The school authorities say they feel the ban is necessary to maintain order in class. They even distributed an open letter to remind parents not to let their children bring mobile phones to school. More than 96 percent of parents say they welcome the school decision. The school is also being flexible in implementing the ban. Those students who live far from school are allowed to bring mobile phones to contact their parents. But they still have to switch them off in classrooms.
Medical experts have also welcomed the school decision. They say excessive dependence on mobile phones can cause many psychological problems in teenage students.