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British schools are removing analog clocks from classrooms because kids can't read them

Schools in the United Kingdom are beginning to remove analog clocks from the classroom — because students are complaining that they can’t read them, reports say.

Officials have begun replacing the traditional clocks with digital ones as children have been unable to tell the correct time on analog clocks, The Telegraph reports.

“The current generation aren’t as good at reading the traditional clock face as older generations,” Malcolm Trobe, deputy general secretary at the Association of School and College Leaders in England, told the publication. “Nearly everything they’ve got is digital so youngsters are just exposed to time being given digitally everywhere.”

According to a report from the Times Educational Supplement, — a weekly newspaper for teachers in the U.K. — one educator said during a conference in London that many high schoolers were only able to tell the time on digital devices.

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“It is amazing the number of students I am coming across in year 10, 11 and in sixth form who do not know how to tell the time,” she began. “We live in a world where everything is digital. We are moving towards a digital age and they do not necessarily have analogue watches anymore and they have mobile phones with the time on.”

Teachers in the U.K. wrote about the situation on social media, with a “Mrs Keenan” tweeting that digital clocks had been installed in an exam hall. Another, Nicola Towle, wrote in a tweet, according to the BBC: “Our school has replaced the analogue clock with a digital one in the hall for exams because pupils couldn’t use it to tell the time.”

The situation isn’t only present in the U.K., though.

A 2017 survey in Oklahoma City found that only 1-in-10 children in the city between the ages of 6-12 owned a watch. Of that number, only 1-in-5 knew how to read the analog watches, according to KFOR.

“I think the exposure to technology, everyone’s so used to seeing digital,” Caitlin Carnes, of the Boys & Girls Club at Santa Fe South Elementary, told the site. “They all have cell phones and tablets so they don’t have to look at a clock very often that’s analog.”

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel also recently proved that kids could not read analog clocks in a hilarious sketch.

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