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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Our handwriting has become increasingly illegible

    Over the years, we are becoming more and more dependent on laptops and computers. This phenomenon are being increasingly observed all over the world. Even the students are increasingly becoming dependent on laptop and desktop and their handwriting are getting worse. The teachers and examiners are finding it more difficult to read the answer-scripts of the students. The prestigious Cambridge University has decided to discontinue traditional pen and paper examination and allow examination with laptops.

    In India also, it would now become a matter of time to replace pen and paper examination with laptop in Universities. But I feel that discontinuing pen and paper examination would cause problem for students of rural background, who are not very computer-savvy.

    This is the direct consequence of discontinuing handwriting tests and contests in schools.
  • #608505
    Nice post. The world of education has rapidly moved from textbooks, papers and pens to soft copy textbook, tabs and laptops. So too many exams have moved from writing on fullscape paper to online assessment and exam modules on a desktop or laptop. This change would take a while to percolate to every nook and corner in a country like ours. But this should discourage students from writing and nothing is lost by having a decent handwriting.

    Years ago I used to go to a typewriting institute to learn typing and used to come back with painful fingers. I soon lost access to typewriter but my computer keyboard skills improved because of something I learnt in the past. The schools and colleges can have sessions and assessments in written English as an alternative or an after hours class like chess classes, dance classes and sport classes.

    Ironically our history has many great legends who have had a bad handwriting... Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Beethoven. Who know's we could be shaping some geniuses!!

  • #608518
    Yes I agree with the author. As most of us are having the cell phone key pad typing or having connection with desk top or lap top key boards to write, we are totally getting away from the physical writing and some times I am even forgetting how to sign my pattern. My bankers are invariably asking me to sign one or two times more to match their records. I had to tell them that the touch has gone so excuse and they are also agreeing to the fact. Coming to the hand writing part of it, it has gone from bad to worse. Some times a pre primary student would write so legibly and neatly and I cannot write properly nor any one could understand. My children used to say that I scribble like doctor to which no one understands and only I do. Any way the author has rightly mentioned that every one who were having good hand writing has lost it completely for no writing experience these days and that is really a worrying factor.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #608525
    As you know, my daughter is a student at the prestigious University of Cambridge. She shared this bit of information with me before it made headlines in the Indian newspapers. The students received a circular in their mail box informing them of this decision.

    In any case, for the MBA programme, there were no written reports to be submitted or many written exams, most of it was already being done on the computer. Something, that my kid had a problem with, initially, as she was used to writing in 'legible' handwriting, if I may add so. But, now all colleges, in the university, are switching to computer based tests.

    It is amazing how technology has been incorporated into the education system and how computing devices are used in classrooms. To someone, who is a computer illiterate, the description of all the things that personal laptops are used for, in the lecture halls, compares to listening to a sci-fi story. There are times when I am completely lost when she explains the hi-tech systems in place to connect the laptops in the lecture halls.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #608530
    Indian students from rural/semi-urban background would suffer during initial days if Indian universities start abandoning pen & paper examination.
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #608533
    Yes. It is very true. We are not able to use a paper and pen and write neatly so that other person ca read it correctly.
    This is really because of the increasing usage of laptops and computers. Last month I have taken my brother's son for admission in to 7th class in a private corporate school in Hyderabad. Interestingly the management told be that they are supplying for a cost to all the students tablets. They are supplying note books as well as tablets also. I asked them why tablet. The answer is we can't ask the students to purchase a laptop for their notes and other writings. So we are advising them for tablets. I asked them why note books in such case. They say it is a fall back arrangement. But the actual reason is that they have to make some money out of it also. I told them I have one I will give it. But they refused to do so.
    I feel if the examinations also on laptops at university level or any level may increase the dependency on electronic gadgets. People will completely forget writing also. As mentioned by the author people for rural areas may suffer for these kinds of changes.

    always confident

  • #608553
    This is not going to happen in India, not in the next few decades at least, so no point fretting over the impact of the improbable. By the time it becomes a reality, we'd all be prepared for it.

    Things evolve and they become a part of our lives. We become so dependent on them that we cannot dream an existence without them and yet, few generations down the line, what we do and hold dear, would be history.

    A few hundred years back, dried palm leaves were used for writing and manuscripts were also written on parchment, but with the invention of paper, those became obsolete. When I was in school, we were allowed to use only fountain pens. Now they have become collector's item. Printing has seen a drastic change too. Change is bound to happen with new technologies and inventions. We must welcome change because it is what encourages growth.

    If we hadn't welcomed computer technology, we'd not be having this online debate.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #608554
    Even today, in lower classes, special/extra marks are allotted in many schools for good handwriting. But with the advent of science and technology, computers and other scientific gadgets are being used eliminating the writing section of the old concept of the three R's.

    No doubt, if the system of using pen and paper is eliminated, the pupils of not only the rural/semi-urban background but also many of the urban areas would also suffer a lot as even today, a computer/laptop or a tablet is a distant dream for many of them.
    In my opinion, if our government is really serious to bring about such changes, they should ensure that every student of all parts of the country has access to computers and not only that, they should be properly trained to use it before implementing any such reform.

    I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.

  • #608571
    Very useful thread based on writing. That is true that with increasing usage of laptops, tablets or mobiles, people hardly want to write and this is affecting their hand writings. It is again increasing more of laziness in them and dependency on laptops is increasing more. It seems as if everything is going digital in this era.

    This will not have a good impact for the rural people as author has pointed out, because there, people have hardly or no access to laptops and many other modern devices. And it will be a problem for them to follow the same process. Usage of pen and paper is very good as it inculcates the habit of practice especially for children in schools. It also helps to understand the value of manual effort. Children in their age , need to learn the value of efforts that need to applied to achieve something and at that stage, usage of pen or pencils is must.

    Using laptop for learning purpose is quite easy and effort reducing. I do not think that Government should implement examination conduction or any sessional tests on computers or laptops at school level. Doing that after class 10th is OK, because till that time students quite attain the level of understanding in them regarding practice and hard work. Or if needed to implement, government should apply it equally to all the sections of country with appropriate training.

    Do what inspires you !!

  • #608579
    There is no denying the fact with the entrance of devices we have lost the art of writing. I was once awarded the Best Handwriting in the school but now when I look at my writing which I do occasionally, I find myself struggling to read what I wrote. Sometimes I ask myself did I write that piece while reading ?

    May be few decades down the lane papers and pen might become a history and if I am alive until that time I can surely say with pride and show them how we used our fingers to write down things and may be it might be a surprise for them. Funny when I think of that now, but might become a reality one day.

  • #608961
    Totally agreed. In my schooling my teacher hold me after the class hours to improve my handwriting. Since the inception typewriter a percentage of writing has got vanished. Later once computer comes into vogue, a huge percentage of writing has gone. Now by scribbling in mobiles, the basic grammar also diminished. Many of us using the pen & ballpen only to sign and the writing habit and practice got vanished so the handwriting also.

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