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South Koreans start using cellphones as young as ten: Study

South Korea might justifiably lay claim to being the nation with the earliest mobile tech adopters. In a recent survey, it was found that children as young as ten years old use mobile phones as their primary form of communication.

The study was conducted by Danook University’s medical school as well as a local politician. Over 6 000 students from all grades were polled and it was found that 96% of the high and middle school students, as well as 83% of elementary students had access to or owned a mobile phone. The average phone bill per month was also shown to be US$23.

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When quizzed about a ban on mobile phone use at school, almost 50% of elementary school children agreed on the ban, while over 70% of middle and high school students opposed it. Teachers in particular support the ban as they say it provides them with a greater level of control over their pupils while they conduct their lessons.

The ban, which was first proposed in 2009, would mean that all mobile phones would be collected before classes begin and only given back at the end of the school day. The ban was meant to come into effect in August, but as of yet it remains inactive.

Seoul’s head of for education and culture justified the ban, saying, “Cellular phones could harm the study atmosphere at schools and could cause health risks for kids. It is desirable to prohibit students from using cell phones at schools. We will set up the regulation this year after collecting opinions from those in various fields.”

South Korea is one of the most densely populated mobile phone nations, with over 51-million active subscribers. This from an actual population of only 48.6-million, indicating that many citizens are carrying more than one mobile phone at a time.

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