A don, Dr Solomon Mangvwat, has urged the Federal Government to re-introduce handwriting in the curricula of Nigerian schools, at all levels.
Mangvwat, who is the Dean School of Education, Federal College of Education (FCE), Pankshin, made the call in his Inaugural Lecture.
The tittle of the lecture is: “Language by Hand and Brain Reciprocity: The Gap in the National Certificate of Education Teacher Programme: The Future in the Past?.”
“Handwriting teaching is relevant in our education system, because about 10 – 30 per cent of children have difficulty mastering writing skills due to Attention Deficit/hyper-activity disorder, learning disabilities, speech and language disabilities.
“Research shows that handwriting improves memory, makes writing a more holistic activity and learning of letters/alphabets, which involves numerous tactile experiences.
“Engaging the fine-motor of muscles of the finger and hand, large muscles of arm and body, as well as the eyes, aid cognitive development, ” he explained.
The lecturer noted that poor or bad handwriting is as a result of factors including; misuse of upper and lower case letters, inappropriate mixture of the upper and lower case letters in words.
Others he said are poor pronunciation of sentences, illegible words or phrases, poor postures and spacing of letters in words or phrases that needed to be addressed in earnest.
“There is no specialized programme for the training of teachers in handwriting simply, because there’s no well defined curriculum for it in Nigeria.
“This, has made schools to neglect the teaching of handwriting, it’s effective supervision and contribute to students’ poor performances in Mathematics.
“The National Commission of Colleges of Education (NCCE), needs to introduce Literacy Education as a programme in Colleges of Education, to train specialists in Literacy Education which covers handwriting, reading, Psychology, and so on.
“This will ensure the start of a well-defined professional progression scheme for teachers in this field, help Nigeria catch up and even compete favourably with international best practices.
“The subjects at the basic level of education need to be streamlined so as not to overburden the children with subjects that are similar or almost integrated in others, but separated for political expediency.
“The federal and state governments need to reintroduce handwriting teaching and ensure compliance through strict supervision of schools,” he reiterated.
Also speaking, Dr Amos Cirfat, Provost of the College, described the 39th Inaugural lecture topic as, ” germane and timely,” towards addressing some of the challenges of the nation’s education sector.
Cirfat, who is also the Chairman, Committee of Provosts of Colleges of Education in Nigeria, said: “re-introducing handwriting in the nation’s education will boost standard of education for the attainment of the desired growth and development.” (NAN)
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