The Bihar Post

COVID-19: Online classes badly impact children’s handwriting, writing ability in Bihar


PATNA—A huge percentage of schools children from India’s Bihar state were found struggling with writing as conducting online classes during the COVID-19 period badly impacted their writing skills, a new study has found.

The study found the handwriting of at least 75 percent children in Bihar turned uglier whereas 65 percent of them almost forget writing in notebooks.

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The facts came to light in course of an extensive survey conducted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) which involved schoolchildren from some 10,000 schools, both state-run and private across the state.

Children studying in Class four to Class 10 were included in the survey which was conducted between March 2020 when the COVID-19 first struck India and February 2021.

According to the survey, conduct of online classes for long has dealt a severe blow to children’s handwriting as many forgot how to write while another good many of them had their handwriting turning uglier and lacked neatness.

That happened because the children paid more attention to listening to the teachers, rather than writing down in their notebooks which they would regularly do during the time of offline classes.

“The closure of schools for long owing to COVID-19 outbreak has badly impacted children’s handwriting and writing abilities. Quite many of them have reduced writing speed,” a member of NCERT’s All India School Education Survey Arun Kumar has told the media.

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The impact is such that many children are unable to write few lines in the notebooks. Researchers also said children lack confidence and their hands start trembling when asked to write something.

The situation reached this level, NCERT officials said, since children’ notebooks remained primarily locked in shelves, local media has reported.

“Some 70 per cent schoolchildren almost never took out their notebooks from the shelves during the COVID-19 period,” the survey found.

“The handwriting of most of the children has turned uglier. We are focusing on improving this and trying to bring everything on the track,” principal of Loyola High School in Patna Father Sudhakar was quoted as saying in the Gulf News.

The paper quoting another principal said many children are getting stuck midway after writing two-three lines. “That is because they never practiced for writing during the period when schools remained closed, and rather paid more attention to memorizing the tasks sent to them in the form of PDF.

Similar reports have come from states like Jharkhand, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

According to the study, in Jharkhand state 74 per cent of schoolchildren have forgot how to write while 66 per cent of them had their handwriting turning very messy.

Similarly, 54 percent children from Delhi and 60 percent children from Uttar Pradesh had their handwriting going uglier due to conducting online classes for long.

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