I do not agree that MXit can be blamed for exam results. Something I have not made clear is that MXit is the medium. Just like a car cannot be blamed for road accidents, its the drivers and more specifically the negligence of the drivers. Either they are drunk, careless or its a genuine accident where someone else bumps into them.

Now in the case of MXit, you have teenagers some innocent, some not so innocent, abusing the system. Hiding from the real world and like in the movie The Matrix, embracing this virtual world where they can let go of any responsibilities. An anonymous environment allows for people to take on different persona’s and more so drop any sense of social etiquette or social courtesy.

When children’s exam results are impacted by an activity like chatting on MXit, drastic action should be taken by parents with co-operation from teachers. School Governing Bodies should pass a policy decision to ban cellphones during school hours. That’s the first step to setting some well needed boundaries for children. It may infringe on the Bill of Human Rights in the South African Constitution. Even if it does, there is a case to be made to encourage well defined boundaries for children. They are not mature enough to understand the consequences of their actions. So parents please engage immediately with the Principals of your children’s schools and the School Governing Bodies and implement some kind of policy to reduce children’s dependence, or reliance on their cellphones.

Other health outlets should be encouraged like sports, music, drama or some traditional form of extra mural activities which can at least for a few hours per day or per week occupy the child’s mind completely. Think about it…if they are playing soccer they cannot be chatting on their cellphones. And besides the exercise is good for them.

Read the original article in Die Burger here.