The handwriting of students across classes has suffered as they have lost the practice of writing as much as they would in classrooms, many teachers said.
With online classes continuing for almost two years now, many students have developed the habit of typing or scribbling on rough sheets instead of in exercise books like they would in school.
The amount of writing has reduced and so has the monitoring. Now, students write only when they have to submit an assignment or have an exam.
At least one school has decided to include neatness and handwriting in the evaluation to draw students’ attention to how they are writing.
For board classes in semester 1, where students were tested on multiple choice questions, candidates did not have to write. For semester 2, which is scheduled to be a subjective paper and offline, their handwriting has to be legible, said teachers.
“For an offline exam, their handwriting has to be legible or it will be a problem. In the last two years, their handwriting has suffered. The speed of writing has also reduced,” said Suvina Shunglu, principal, Sri Sri Academy.
The school across classes has introduced a component in evaluation that includes neatness and handwriting.
Teachers said that in school, students would have to take notes in the classroom whether they liked it or not and during classwork, the teacher would take rounds of the class to see that they were writing.
In an English grammar class, for example, the students would write at least five sentences in the classroom.
“In an online class, the teachers do not know whether the student is writing one word or the entire sentence,” said a teacher.
It is practically impossible for the teacher to monitor all the students in an online class.
The students’ approach has become more casual.
“We have had instances when they have submitted scanned work that they have done on pages of a diary instead of exercise books. We then set rules that they could not do that,” said Nupur Ghosh, vice principal, Mahadevi Birla World Academy.
During online class, students sometimes take and share photos of the classwork when they finish first.
“In the classroom, there was a consistency and the teachers would move from one desk to another to check. We have been insisting to our board classes that their handwriting has to be legible,” said Jessica Gomes Surana, principal, Loreto Convent Entally.