Handwriting neglected at Dutch primary schools: experts

A child writing
A child writing. Photo: dotmatchbox / Wikimedia Commons

Dutch primary schools underestimate the importance of handwriting, experts said to newspaper AD. Handwriting lessons are neglected to the point that over 30 percent of primary school students have difficulty learning to write, and by the end of group 4 nearly half of students have bad or illegible handwriting, according to the newspaper.

Too little attention is paid to kids' fine motor skills development, PhD student and child physiotherapist Anneloes Overvelde, writing lecturer Rijn van de Rozenberg and Petra van Haren of the general association for school leaders AVS said to the newspaper. 

"In handwriting both linguistic and motor skills are required. When children learn to write, they need special attention for the motor side", Overvelde said. "Students have to go miles to write automatically and to keep attention on lessons."

Teachers and other educators see writing skills as less of a priority, especially given the rise of tablets and laptops. Due to this, combined with the fact that children now spend less time on crafts and coloring, children's motor skills will deteriorate, according to the experts. 

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