23:20 GMT +307 December 2019
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    Indonesian City Plans to Distract Kids From Smartphones With 'Chickenization' Project

    © REUTERS / JASON LEE
    Asia & Pacific
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    In an effort to pry students away from their smartphones, officials in the Indonesian city of Bandung will be handing out 2,000 four-day-old chicks to students enrolled at local elementary and junior high schools over the next few weeks in a project dubbed “chickenization.”

    The children will have to feed their pets before and after school, AFP reported. Students can also leave their pet chicks at school if they don’t have any space for them in their homes. 

    A dozen chicks were handed out to students on Thursday during a ribbon-cutting ceremony launching the new initiative. The birds were each in a cage with a sign that read: “Please take good care of me.”

    According to Bandung Mayor Oded Muhammad Danial, the project isn’t just about changing students’ phone habits; it is part of Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s plan to broaden the scope of children’s education.

    "There is an aspect of discipline here," Danial is quoted as saying by AFP.

    Yayah Ratnasari, whose teenage son Rabil will be participating in the initiative, is excited about the project.

    "It's more beneficial for them to take care of chicks than play with smartphones," she said.

    However, Rabil begged to differ. "It's more interesting playing with a smartphone," he said, AFP reported.

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