The mayor of Indonesia’s fourth-largest city with 2.5 million inhabitants is buying pet chicks as a gift for kids in a bid to stop them spending so much time on their mobile phones.
Oded Muhammad Danial, who is the mayor of the Bandung city government, in Indonesia’s south-western West Java province, said he plans to make sure that one chick is given to primary and secondary school kids as a way of getting them away from the smart phone obsession, known locally as “gadget addiction”.
Speaking about the plan, which has been handed to government departments to review before implementation, he said: “I have a programme going forward for schoolchildren and particularly those in the primary and junior school system who are too focused on their electronic gadgets. The programme is being reviewed by my team and the project will involve us giving chicks to raise. It is a revolutionary idea.”
He said he would use free range chicken, and that before the handout took place, kids would learn about how to care for them.
He added that a single check would cost just 7,500 IDR (0.4 GBP) and added that chicks had the advantage of not needing a cage to be kept in and could help foster a love of animals in the children who cared for them.
He added that the project would start with around 20 to 30 children in different age groups in 30 different districts across the city and that if it proved a success, it would be extended to all children.
He added that education officials would monitor the success of the kids in caring for their animals, and those who did the best job would get extra rewards such as a cycle.
He said it was just one idea to tackle the negative side of owning a telephone for children. He added that on the one hand it was great that children had the access to the information the phones could provide, but on the other hand they often spend too much time on the negative things that mobile telephones could bring.
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