Schools in Finland to teach texting and touch-typing over handwriting

In what could be seen as a radical change for curriculums in the future, schools in Finland will begin to teach children how to text message and touch-type rather than traditional handwriting from 2016.

Handwritten cursive is now considered less relevant to everyday life compared with speed-texting. From next year, all Finnish schoolchildren will be issued their own tablet device to learn the necessary typing skills, reports.

Finland has followed in the footsteps of the US, where handwriting is no longer required to be taught in 43 states. Schools in Britain may soon follow suit, as a survey of 2,000 people living in the UK conducted in 2012 found that a third of all participants claimed to have not written anything “properly” over the previous six months, notes.

Minna Harmanen, from the Finnish National Board of Education, said “Fluent typing skills are an important national competence. The switch will be a major cultural change, but typing is more relevant to everyday life.”

However, a decision to change the curriculum in British schools would not come without its share of controversy. Learning how to write in cursive helps young people read handwritten documents by others, and is believed to also help people memorise letters, improve spelling and develop hand-eye-brain coordination.