DepEd to issue memo banning Pokemon game in Cebu schools

By Jose Santino S. Bunachita |August 17,2016 - 10:44 PM
“Pokémon Go” is displayed on a cellphone in Los Angeles. Pokémon Go’s origins are as peculiar as any of the creatures inhabiting the game. (AP)

A Pokemon Go player uses his cellular phone to hunt for virtual creatures. (CDN FILE PHOTO)

Students of public elementary and high schools in Cebu province won’t be allowed to play the hit mobile game Pokemon Go within the school premises.

The Department of Education (DepEd) Cebu Province yesterday said they would be issuing a memorandum to inform all public schools in the province about the Pokemon Go ban.

This after the Cebu Provincial Board (PB) approved a resolution during its regular session last Monday urging DepEd-7 to issue a memorandum banning the game within school premises.

“We’ve never encouraged students from using their phones during class hours. We will disseminate this to the field through a division memo to inform school heads and teachers that there’s a resolution from the PB banning playing Pokemon Go within school premises,” said Cebu Province Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Roseller Gelig.

Gelig explained that there are already existing memos prohibiting students from using their phones during school hours and that in some schools, teachers even require students to deposit their phones and get them after class.

This new policy suggested by the PB, he said, will just widen the scope of the prohibition outside the classrooms and within the entire school.

Gelig admitted though that it would be difficult to monitor students using their phones outside classrooms since there are a lot of them. Gelig said it would be difficult also to impose sanctions on students since they have to be caught in the act of catching pokemon within the school. Gelig said teachers should remind students of the order as often as they could.

Schools should also inform the parents through meetings of the Parents-Teachers Associations (PTAs) about the resolution.

“It would be up to the school heads to look for ways to implement this order because this is a provincial resolution,” he said.

There are around 1,200 public elementary and high schools in the province.

Pokemon Go is a free, location-based and augmented reality mobile application that was released last July in few countries and later on in the Philippines earlier this month.

Using a smartphone or other devices with the app, players will have to walk around in order to find and catch pokemon or pocket monsters. The phenomenon has drawn thousands of people out on the streets, to parks, malls, boardwalks, promenades and other locations to play the game.

“Pokemon Go has already created havoc, even in just a few weeks of its release, as it has been linked to incidents like robbery of gadgets, a man falling to an alley in an effort to capture the character, and a man was even shot and killed while playing the popular game in the US,” read the resolution authored by PB Member Glenn Bercede.
The resolution further states that the provincial government wants to prevent these incidents from happening to Cebuanos.

Since its release in the country, he noted that a lot of people have been hooked into the game including students.

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