This is being done so students can be relaxed while giving their exams and not worry about having to tell time on an analog clock because they can't.
Gone are the days when we were taught how to read time in school. So it may come as a shock to you that schools are now taking off analog clocks from their examination halls because teenagers just don't know how to read time. A head teachers' union has revealed that they have been forced to remove analog clocks and replace them with digital ones, reports the Telegraph. Especially during exams, teachers see a lot of students come up to them and complain they can't understand the clock and that's apparently confusing them.
Malcolm Trobe, deputy general secretary at the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said youngsters were used to using digital devices, and that is where the problem arose. He said, "The current generation isn’t as good at reading the traditional clock face as older generations. They are used to seeing a digital representation of time on their phone, on their computer. Nearly everything they’ve got is digital so youngsters are just exposed to time being given digitally everywhere."
A former headmasterTrobe added that it's best to keep the students as calm and relaxed as possible during the exams. When you have a clock in the room you don't know how to read, it obviously adds more stress to the students who are already worried about the exams. He said that schools are trying to make everything as "as easy and straightforward as possible" for pupils during their exams. He said, "You don’t want them to put their hand up to ask how much time is left."
Working against the clock during exams is stressful to say the least. So to make it easier on the students, digital clocks becomes a boon for them. "Schools will inevitably be doing their best to make young children feel as relaxed as the can be. There is actually a big advantage in using digital clocks in exam rooms because it is much less easy to mistake a time on a digital clock when you are working against time," he said.
Post a Partners in Excellence conference in London where a presentation on the topic took place, teachers took to social media to share their experiences about the same. Stephanie Keenan, principal of English at Ruislip High School in north-west London, said her school was one of the many to shift from analog to digital clocks because many nine, ten and eleven years students could not read the clock.
A department head at Cockermouth School and the chair of West Cumbria Network, Cheryl Quine also stated that her students had difficulty in telling time "when some couldn’t read the exam room clock". Students are taught the basics in school, but that's not the on-ground reality, according to Trobe, who's seen quite a few students having trouble with reading an analog clock.
"It may be a little sad if youngsters coming through aren’t able to tell the time on clock faces. One hopes that we will be teaching youngsters to read clocks, however, we can see the benefit of digital clocks in exam rooms," he said. It seems like children have a lot of other problems with going old-school too. Most of the activities kids indulge in nowadays are always on a screen or a tablet, like watching videos or coloring, or even drawing something with fingers on them.
A senior pediatric doctor said children are finding it increasingly harder to hold pens and pencils because of an overdependence on technology. Sally Payne, the head pediatric occupational therapist at the Heart of England Foundation NHS Trust affirmed that when children are given pens to hold at school, they simply don't know how to use it, much less hold it properly.
She said, “To be able to grip a pencil and move it, you need strong control of the fine muscles in your fingers. Children need lots of opportunities to develop those skills. It’s easier to give a child an iPad than encouraging them to do muscle-building play such as building blocks, cutting and sticking, or pulling toys and ropes. Because of this, they’re not developing the underlying foundation skills they need to grip and hold a pencil."