It is not fair for the writer to deride the teachers for they may have had their reasons for their actions. Using a calculator does not mean that the teacher does not know the subject. Rather, a calculator is used to confirm the figures in one’s memory.
Checking that all figures are correct is a necessary step the true professional will not fail to observe, even for simple additions and subtractions. After all, nothing betrays man like memory.
As for the teacher who wrote essays on the board and then asked the students to copy them, I think the teacher’s intention was to ensure that everyone writes the essay, and also that everyone has practice in handwriting.
Some students do not do their homework, either because they don’t have the time or because they don’t think it is important. And not all students have diligent parents who watch over them constantly.
The practice of handwriting merits special mention.
Handwriting is almost essential to preserve correct spelling and also to do well in examinations. Granted that most examinations are still conducted via the use of pen and paper, a student who must write between 350 and 500 words in an hour or slightly longer, must have had sufficient practice in handwriting.
The speed of writing must be in tandem with the flow of ideas, and therefore must be fast enough to translate ideas into words within the time limit.
All about handwriting
Handwriting is also about endurance and clarity. That is, the student must not get tired and he or she must be able to write clearly enough for everyone to read.
Thus, handwriting is an essential skill that requires a lot of practice and which is often overlooked today.
One of the reasons why handwriting is disregarded is the wide availability of computers.
However, writing on a computer does not develop thought in the same way as longhand does, just like sums never look right until they are verified by a calculator.
I have observed that a number of students from vernacular schools do not know how to write in Bahasa, because their mother tongues do not use the Roman alphabet, which is used to write both Bahasa and English.
Students from these schools cannot copy or follow instructions when they enter national stream schools simply because they don’t know how to write the Roman character with sufficient speed.
Source: The STAR Home > Education Sunday April 3, 2011