September 9 : These are days of the high-tech child. A child whose grasp of the computer is phenomenal and who knows how to handle the mouse better than he can handle toys.

But in this rush to be computer whizzes at age fifteen and below, kids are forgetting how to hold pens and pencils. Or, to put it simply, today’s kids are forgetting how to write.
It looks as if the days of the neat homework book, with pages and pages of beautiful, tidy writing – the school-going child’s special pride – will soon be a thing of the past.

But it doesn’t have to, argues Shiksha Samsad, a non-profit organisation (NGO) in Calcutta. The Telegraph, a Calcutta daily, reports that the NGO has launched a programme to help students learn to write well again. Or, improve their handwriting. Two dozen students from various classes have already enrolled for lessons.

So how does Shiksha Samsad propose to improve handwriting among children?

“We have been teaching students to write neatly and clearly in both English and Bengali through a mathematical and scientific method. If a student follows our format for even an hour every day, his or her handwriting is bound to improve,” says the secretary of the organization.

And it’s not the computer that’s the main reason behind this state of affairs, he adds. At least not yet. Lack of guidance is more responsible. When most teachers themselves don’t know how to write properly, how can students be blamed? He also blames “excessive use of the ballpoint pen instead of the fountain pen and the way students grip the pen”.

For children, the most obvious consequence of bad handwriting is poor results in school. They end up losing vital marks in the process. That is why so many parents have enrolled their kids for the programme.

A few adults have also joined the programme. For, all said and done a good handwriting is something that will never go out of fashion.