Banning Minors Inside I-Cafés During School Hours

children_in_cafeThe City of Manila has recently passed an ordinance that prohibits, among other things, the entry of elementary and high school students to i-cafés during school hours. I do not know the details of Manila City Ordinance No. 8168 and the only news I found in the Internet is this one entitled Bagets bawal na sa internet. I presume that such prohibition is intended to curb truancy among students of minor age who play games at i-cafés instead of attending their classes.

The news says that the elementary and high school students in the City of Manila would not be allowed to enter i-cafés during school hours, Monday to Friday. They will be allowed to do so on Saturdays and Sundays. According to the same news article, curfew hours for minors  starting at 10:00 PM will also be enforced. The news did not say if there are hours during Mondays to Fridays that elementary and high school students will be allowed to enter i-cafés.

Assuming that students of minor age will be totally banned from entering i-cafés Mondays to Fridays, is this the best for the situation? How about the students who would like to do their assignments/homework using the Internet but they do not have computers in their homes? Should they also be banned from entering i-cafés from Monday to Friday?

Personally, I do not subscribe to totally banning minors inside i-cafés during school hours in in solving truancy problem. Classifying computer shops into gaming i-cafés and non-gaming  ones then making sure that no students would enter the i-cafés offering games during school hours should be a better option. This way, students who would do their assignments/homework using the Internet would not be hampered. The authorities must make sure though that the i-cafés in which the students would be allowed to do their studies are not offering games in their services.

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