Mobile phones will be banned in schools across New Zealand, conservative Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said December 1, as his fledgling government looks to turn around the country’s plummeting literacy rates, Report informs referring to CNA.

New Zealand’s schools once boasted some of the world’s best literacy scores, but levels of reading and writing have declined to the point that some researchers fear there is a classroom “crisis”.

Luxon declared he would ban phones at schools within his first 100 days in office, adopting a policy trialed with mixed results in the United States, United Kingdom and France.

The move would stop disruptive behavior and help students focus, Luxon said.

“We are going to ban phones across New Zealand in schools. We want our kids to learn and we want our teachers to teach,” he said.

Researchers from New Zealand charity Education Hub warned of a “literacy crisis” in 2022, finding more than one-third of 15-year-olds could barely read or write.