Primary and junior high schools in Shanghai will increase their Chinese handwriting classes, as instructed by the city education commission, which is trying to save students from becoming ‘character illiterate’ because of their high reliance on computers, according to the Shanghai Education Commission.
A mandatory rule set by the commission will take effect in September, under which all primary and middle schools in Shanghai will begin handwriting classes or increase their handwriting class hours, the Shanghai Municipal Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference was quoted as saying by Shanghai Daily.
Several committee members have urged the government to reinforce students’ handwriting practice in class. The handwriting ability of Shanghai’s students is weakening and many have difficulty differentiating between similarly structured Chinese characters, the members warned in the proposal.
China View reports that Cao Kefan, Dai Xiaojing and Zhang Guo’en, members of the top advisory body said as more and more students tend to do their homework on a computer, they are losing the ability to write characters by hand. Several other members have submitted similar proposals to the government.
Committee members warned that in a recent city-wide composition contest among middle school students, none of the articles was free of lexical mistakes.
Local primary and junior high schools must set up at least one handwriting practice class every two weeks starting from the new semester, the commission ordered.