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Students need not write exams in cursive script: Maharashtra state board

Educators said that stressing on cursive handwriting may develop a fear of writing in the child’s mind from a young age.

mumbai Updated: Feb 25, 2017 00:31 IST
Puja Pednekar
Puja Pednekar
Hindustan Times
cursive writing,cursive script,education
There are no additional benefits of learning cursive writing.(HT FILE)

Students will not be required to use cursive handwriting in the Maharashtra state board exams (SSC and HSC) and schools must not force students into it, stated the board in a recent letter to schools.The Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exams begin on Tuesday.

The Mumbai (Brihanmumbai) Association of Heads of Secondary (Higher Secondary) Schools had written to the board last month complaining about English medium schools’ insistence on cursive writing. It wants the state’s education department and the board to come up with rules on whether cursive writing should be taught in schools.

According to principals, in the group, students find it tough to use cursive handwriting. They said that this style of writing is now redundant across the world, including countries like the United States and United Kingdom, but schools pressure students to learn it from nursery to class 3.

Educators said that stressing on cursive handwriting may create a fear of writing in the child’s mind from a young age. “Many schools put pressure on students to master this style of writing,” said Prashant Redij, secretary of the association and headmaster, Hilda Castelino English High School, Kandivli. “Students are given tonnes of practice sheets, and often schools even deduct marks if students don’t write in this style.”

There are no additional benefits to learning cursive writing, others said.

“A child’s handwriting can be good in other styles too. In fact, it’s good if children develop their own unique writing style instead of copying another,” said Shahabuddin Waghwan, head of the association.

Waghwan added that rumours were circulating on social media that students must answer their HSC and SSC board exams in cursive writing.

“This is adding to students anxieties,” said Waghwan.

Responding to the concerns, Krishnakumar Patil, secretary of the board, issued a circular recently, stating that the board doesn’t insist on cursive writing.

“There are no rules in Maharashtra for secondary or higher secondary students to use cursive writing,” said Patil. “Schools must therefore not force students to learn it,” he added.

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First Published: Feb 25, 2017 00:31 IST