THE EDITOR: When I was a student in primary school during the 1970s, I liked the subject we called writing because it was easy and I always got full marks. However, I never took seriously the advice from my teachers to form my letters correctly and to develop proper handwriting.
It was only after I started attending secondary school I realised that handwriting is a basic tool used in many subjects for taking notes, writing tests, doing classroom work and homework for almost every subject area. I also learnt that handwriting is an important skill and is linked to basic reading and spelling skills which can help to reinforce early achievement.
I read in the newspapers recently that the Ministry of Education is finally paying some attention to the teaching of handwriting in school under its penmanship project.
A survey on handwriting done by the ministry showed 78 per cent of primary and secondary schools had identifiable handwriting programmes. This is a very good initiative and I congratulate the ministry for recognising the need to have our students taught proper handwriting skills.
Minister Anthony Garcia said that after listening to concerns expressed by parents, teachers and principals a survey was conducted and it was found that 45 per cent of schools taught handwriting in Standard I, 13 per cent taught it in Standard III and 56 per cent taught it at the level of infants. Thanks to Garcia for taking note of these concerns.
My message to students is to take penmanship seriously. Whether you have to jot down a shopping list, write a birthday card, take down a phone message, complete a form at the bank or airport, writing is part of our daily lives.
SHARON SURJOO, Carenage