Winners of handwriting competition awarded

Around 300 students from four schools located in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, and Fujairah participated in the first edition of the competition

Dubai: When was the last time you picked up a pen to write a note?

As a result of technology becoming an essential part of communication and even education, much of the new generation do not use pen to write on a daily basis.

To combat this growing trend, Smart Education and Zaner-Bloser (Z-B), their US-based publishing partner, along with the Ministry of Education (MOE) held the 2018 Smart Education National Handwriting Contest finals at the ministry’s brainstorming room on Thursday.

Around 300 students from four schools located in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, and Fujairah participated in the first edition of the competition, out of which 13 were selected for the final round.

During the event, three champions were crowned from grades 3, 4 and 5, each receiving a trophy, ‘champion’ certificate and a tablet from Smart Education.

The students, who were from grades three, four and five, wrote a sentence that features every letter in the alphabet — “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

Their penmanship was evaluated by a panel of judges based on the four keys to legibility, which are shape, size, slant, spacing. The students had the choice to write in either manuscript or cursive.

Participating schools include Sara School in Dubai, Al Wadi Boys School in Sharjah, Omama Bint Abi Al Aas School in Fujairah, and Al Nuaimaya School in Ajman.

Zainab Al Baloushi, English curriculum specialist at the MOE referred to the ministry’s focus on technology and computer sciences in school’s educational curriculums. “We have noticed that many students have bad handwriting and that’s a result of using tablets and computers both at school and at home that automatically autocorrect words. This is why this competition is very important to teach children from a young age how to write nicely,” said Al Baloushi.

Meanwhile, Andrew Dunning, Smart Education’s business development manager, told Gulf News the handwriting competition has been running for more than 35 years in the US.

“The second edition of the competition will take place in October 2018. The plan is to include private schools as well as public schools in the second edition and to make the competition nationwide,” he said.

Dunning referred to the importance of handwriting in improving one’s motor skills, hand-eye coordination and mathematical skills.

“Texting and keyboarding have replaced handwriting while not providing the same language benefits. Good handwriting has become a lost art and yet it is so vital to the development of motor skills in the young learner,” said Dunning.


Grade 4 — Wadeema Salah from Sara School in Dubai

Grade 3 — Rashid Ahmad from Al Wadi Boys school in Sharjah

Grade 5- Reem Al Naqbi from Omama Bint Abi Al Aas School in Fujairah


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