Andi Hajramurni, Makassar – Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Minister Yohana Susana Yembise has raised a call for parents across the country to limit their children's screen time and encourage them to focus more on their education.
Speaking at an event to commemorate Children's Day, which falls on July 23, Yohana said that as the nation's future, children should invest more time on reading, writing and learning new things instead of spending hours on their smartphones every day.
"This country needs you; prepare to become the future leaders of this nation," Yohana said in her speech before thousands of children who attended the event on Tuesday in Makassar, South Sulawesi.
"Use your smartphones less, keep studying, reading and writing," she went on, "I became a professor and a minister because I spent a lot of time studying and reading, not playing with my smartphone."
Yohanna went on to call on parents to supervise their children's screen time and monitor their activity while using the internet to access social media, saying that negative content in the digital world could have a bad influence on children.
The Indonesian government is committed to protecting all children and upholding their rights without discrimination, she added. "We will continue to do our best to ensure that all children have their rights fulfilled."
Kelvin, one of the students who attended the event, said he had been struggling to concentrate on his studies amid constant distractions from his electronic gadget.
A student of Rajawali Catholic Junior High School in Makassar, Kelvin said the school had helped students focus more on their education by prohibiting them from bringing smartphones to the school.
"My screen time is also limited at home; I'm only allowed to use my smartphone from Friday to Sunday so that I focus on my studies [from Monday to Thursday]," he said. (rfa/afr)