DESPITE the growing popularity of texting and slang, school children are still taking pride in their handwriting with thousands of students from primary schools across Limerick participating in the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) Handwriting Competition.
The competition, which is now in its 22nd year, is focused on keeping the art of handwriting alive.
Joe Lyons, press officer of INTO for the Limerick region, said “our aim is to celebrate the skill of handwriting among all children from junior infants to sixth class”.
“As always, style, flair, neatness and layout of handwriting are the criteria that judges use to assess the entries,” Mr Lyons explained.
With over 30 years teaching experience under his belt, he said that while in recent times there is lots of talk about people answering questions for the Leaving Cert in ‘text speak’, “I find in primary school anyway, children still take pride in handwriting”.
“I genuinely believe that,” he noted. “They are just delighted to be good at it. We had around 100 schools in Limerick taking part in the competition.”
Most schools, he said, have a particular policy in handwriting - “they do free writing and then they do cursive script – the joined up writing”.
“You will find that an awful lot of the educational book companies are producing handwriting manuals and workbooks. There is a very big demand for those,” continued Mr Lyons who is principal of Ballybrown National School.
This year’s entrants were asked to write a piece of prose or a poem.
Students were not judged on content but on the style and execution of their handwriting.
“It’s not like writing an essay where the brighter children are favourite - handwriting is something that all children can be good at regardless of intellectual ability.”
The prize winners for Limerick received their prizes at a special ceremony in the South Court Hotel, Raheen.