With computers eating into the handwriting space and children having little incentive to master penmanship,a project launched by the primary education department of Pune Zilla Parishad to improve handwriting of students from Class I to Class IV has met with encouraging results.
About 4,500 of the 5,010 students who were a part of the project showed a considerable improvement in handwriting.
Independent observers who carried out an inspection at the end of the two-month project classified handwriting of 1,300 students as beautiful and of 900 as good while they decreed that handwriting of about 2,000 had showed a marked improvement after they participated in the exercise. There,however,were 450 students who failed to impress the judges who rated their handwriting as bad.
Pandurang Memane,extension officer with the primary education department of ZP who conceived and implemented the project said his experience in school education showed that good handwriting was a major confidence booster for young students and increased their interest in studies.
Gandhiji said bad handwriting is a sign of imperfect education. While working with primary schools and dealing with issues like early dropouts,we found that bad handwriting leads to inferiority complex among students and can result in their being absent. A good handwriting,on the other hand,invites praise from teachers and elders,thus boosting confidence of the child. Also young kids show more interest in practical activities than reading and memorising. We had trained teachers to make this process fun, said Memane.
D U Sonawane,a teacher with the primary school at Wayalpatta (Hol),said,Teachers keep telling students to improve their handwriting and give writing assignments but during these two months we took special efforts by undertaking daily handwriting sessions and paying individual attention. I am sure this will also reflect in good performance in the examination, said Sonawane.
They used to make us sit and practise handwriting every day with an ink pen. The teacher used to tell us how we should hold the pen,draw curves and how much should the spacing between two letters and words be, said nine-year-old Rajnandini Kamble of class IV.
Along with handwriting improvement,memorising 500 English spellings and multiplication tables up to 30 were part of the project. 3,000 students memorised tables up to 30. There are 900 others who know by heart multiplication tables even above 30. Also 3,800 students know how to spell at least 500 English words, said Memane.