News Column

Survey: Smartphones linked to low test scores

August 26, 2014

Agence France-Presse in Tokyo

Children who spend more than four hours a day on their smartphones perform significantly worse In school tests than those who are limited to just 30 minutes, a Japanese government survey has found.

Among the 14-and 15-year-olds who use their handheld device for at least four hours daily-nearly one out of nine do so-grade scores suffer an average 14 percentage points drop across all subjects.

The deficit rises to more than 18 points in mathematics, figures from Japan'sEducation Ministry showed.

Nearly half of all third-year junior high school students questioned spend more than an hour a day on their phones, browsing websites, sending e-mails and playing games. Less than a quarter of those in the age group do not have a phone.

Smartphone use is also prevalent among 11-year-olds, the survey found, with 54 percent of those in their final year of elementary school having such a phone of their own.

Fifteen percent of them spend at least one hour on the device every day.

The results of the survey, which is the first of its kind by the Education Ministry, have sparked fears that schoolchildren are neglecting their books for the allure of the small screen.

(China Daily08/27/2014 page11)

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Source: China Daily: Hong Kong Edition

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