'Chickenisation': Indonesian city hands out chicks to keep children off smartphones

An Indonesian pupil holds a chick in Bandung, West Java, on Nov 21, 2019.
An Indonesian pupil holds a chick in Bandung, West Java, on Nov 21, 2019.PHOTO: AFP
Indonesian pupils look at chicks in cages with signs that read "please take good care of me" in Bandung, West Java, on Nov 21, 2019.
Indonesian pupils look at chicks in cages with signs that read "please take good care of me" in Bandung, West Java, on Nov 21, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA (DPA) - An Indonesian city wants to lure children away from smartphones by handing out free chicks to school pupils to keep them busy, according to reports on Friday (Nov 22).

The mayor of Bandung, the capital of West Java province, kicked off the so-called chickenisation campaign on Thursday by distributing 2,000 baby chickens to students at several elementary and junior high schools, the Kompas daily reported.

The birds were kept in cages with signs that said: "Take good care of me."

"This chickenisation is not only aimed at diverting children's attention from gadgets, but also to nurture them to love animals and take responsibility," Mr Oded Muhammad Danial was quoted as saying by Kompas.

"They will feed the chickens before going to school and after coming home from school. They will learn discipline," he said.

A 2019 survey by an Internet security company, ESET, found that the average Indonesian spends three hours daily on the Internet.

About 10 per cent of those surveyed spend 10 hours on the Web, according to the report.