Raikatalau: Don’t give mobile phones to kids

Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation welfare officer Kevin Raikatalau has advised parents not to give mobile phones to kids. Picture: FILE

DO not give mobile phones to children unless you are monitoring how they use it.

This was the stern message from Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation welfare officer Kevin Raikatalau to parents of St Thomas Primary School students during International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking event yesterday.

He said un-monitored use of mobile phones by school students could be linked to the increase in mental and sexual-related issues in schools.

The number of mental health issues in schools had risen from 1701 in 2017 to 4393 last year and sexual-related offences in schools jumped from 578 cases in 2017 to 820 last year.

Mr Raikatalau said the statistics were a concern because children were engaged in inappropriate behaviour towards their teachers and other students.

He said this could be attributed to the type of environment children were exposed to at home, how they were being brought up and the type of material they viewed on the internet.

“Sometimes the phone is given for one purpose and children use it to do other things — things they should not be doing or watching,” he said.

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