With already several students facing several issues in their handwriting skills, the closure of schools especially at the elementary and middle level for more than one year has further worsened the situation warns experts.
Teachers and academicians besides parents also blame that the handwriting assignments drastically reduced in the online classes for the students.
Adding to the woes, teachers also worried that lakhs of students from government and government-aided schools in rural areas, who do not have virtual sessions, are likely to suffer further to get back their writing strokes.
Tamil Nadu Teachers Association president P K Ilamaran, who is also conducting online classes for the students in a government school, expressed serious concern with regard to the diminished handwriting.
"Many teachers across the State complain that most of the students at the elementary level have even forgotten the letters in both Tamil and English, he said, "the government should take immediate steps to at least ask the teachers to go to the children's doorstep once in a week to give handwriting homework".
He said if the lockdown is going to continue for a while, there should be a separate class period to improve the handwriting of the students when the schools were reopened.
"I was shocked to see my daughters' vague handwriting when I asked to prepare the provision list for this month", K Vijayalakshmi, a housewife in Pammal at the outskirts of the city, rued. The mother said her daughter, who is studying Class VI, use to write well when she was attending physical classes during the pre-lockdown period.
As writing in Tamil is generally considered to be tough for the students, S Dhandapani, Tamizhaga Tamiz Aasiriar Sangam, secretary, said due to online classes and lack of handwritten homework has made the children forget "Sirappu Lagaram", (special characters) in the language subject.
"We can't blame the students. The only physical, which cannot be replaced by virtual sessions, could save them to get back their handwriting skills", he said adding "most of the parents of the government school children were illiterate and labourers and they do not have the option to teach their kids".
KR Nandhakumar, general secretary of Tamil Nadu Private Nursery, Primary, Matriculation, Higher Secondary, and CBSE schools Association, said"even though we give handwriting assignments through online classes, still teachers discover that students' handwriting skills have come down drastically".
He said, "usually, each student from class one to higher secondary level will use at least ten notebooks according to the subjects. However, during the closure of schools, they hardly used one or two".
Tamil Nadu Parents-Teachers Welfare Association president S Arumainathan said the online teaching method has to be totally changed. "Accordingly, the teachers should have at least 60% writing session in online so that students", he said adding that government school students, who do not have online classes, should be given handwriting assignments over the phone.
Admitting that the writing skills took a dig for the children, State Platform for Common School System–Tamil Nadu general secretary PB Prince Gajendra Babu also said writing plays an important role for the students and teachers should ensure give separate handwriting practice sessions.