A Scottish school has had to teach some teenagers how to read an analogue clock.
The Sunday Telegraph reports that the ubiquity of mobile phones and tablets, with their digital 24-hour clocks, is threatening to make the art of telling the time from a traditional timepiece redundant.
This has reached the stage where a school in Scotland has found that pupils as old as 13 are unable to tell the time from the analogue clocks hanging in classrooms and corridors. Teachers had began to notice that more and more of its senior pupils had no concept of how to read a clock, or at best struggled to do so. The problem had become so acute that it had begun to threaten the pupils’ exam prospects.
Now the school has begun to teach pupils to read a clock the old fashioned way, without resorting to their mobile phones; indeed, mobiles and tablets have been banned during school hours to encourage pupils to look at clocks around the school.
One teacher commented ‘Having the ability to understand the movement of the minute hand and the hour hand around the face of a clock gives young people a tangible understanding of the passing of time, not just numbers changing on a digital screen. Additionally there are maths applications that need this skill. It’s a fundamental numeracy life skill. We are encouraging parents and guardians to buy wristwatches for pupils from the age of five.’