For $60K per year, England’s most expensive school is giving its students Nokias


Eton College, one of England's most prestigious boarding schools, known for producing politicians, is putting the kibosh on smartphone use and giving students outdated Nokia handsets instead.

With a hefty price tag of almost £50,000 ($64,000) each year, parents should expect the highest level of education.

So, how does an all-boys boarding school ensure its students get the best education possible?

Enter the humble Nokia, a phone known for being ancient, indestructible, and devoid of internet access.

But the new Nokia initiative is more than just a gift from Eton to its students – it represents a broader problem that the college is grappling with.

The institution's faculty is devising a solution to tackle poor mental health and bad behavior: expelling iPhones and other smartphones from its campus.

As reported by Digital Trends, new students will be greeted with a Nokia phone without internet access this September.

The phone only has calling and texting capabilities, meaning students can remain in contact with family members and friends. Oh, and the boys can play Snake.

While within the institution, students are, under no circumstances, allowed to use smartphones.

The college's faculty hopes that this new initiative will improve students' mental health, overall well-being, and behavior.

Mike Grenier, Eton’s deputy head in charge of student welfare, supposedly wrote to parents to say that the SIMs of new boarders would be transferred into a shiny new (old) Nokia phone and their smartphone should be taken home, The Standard wrote.

The deputy head said smartphones, when used in moderation, can be key to establishing relationships and social networks as well as helping young people understand the world around them.

However, despite the technology's positive aspects, there are challenges surrounding misuse, overuse, and its impact on a young person’s mental and physical health, Grenier said.

One study conducted by King's College London in collaboration with the UK mental health charity Young Minds explored the impact of digital technology on youth mental health.

The study identified connections between smartphone misuse and certain mental health struggles, such as anxiety, depression, and self-harm among young people with mental health conditions.

Yet smartphone overuse doesn’t simply affect those who have pre-existing mental health conditions. It also impacts those without these afflictions.

An academic paper titled, ‘Smartphones, social media use, and youth mental health’ states that evidence from a range of studies seems to suggest that smartphone use, specifically social media use, correlates with increased mental distress, self-harming behaviors, and even suicidality among young people.