Cursive handwriting will be scrapped from the Finnish education curriculum and replaced by lessons in keyboard typing, it has been announced.
The country’s education board said that the change - set to take effect in 2016 - will reflect how typing skills are more relevant than handwriting. The move has sparked debate over the future of handwriting in the classroom.
Minna Harmanen from the National Board of Education told Finnish publication Savon Sanomat that "fluent typing skills are an important national competence".
In September 2013 cursive handwriting was removed as a compulsory skill in the US, where 43 states have adopted the standard as of last year.
Misty Adoniou, senior lecturer of Language, Literacy and TESL at the University of Canberra, told The Independent: "I think they [Finland] have made a sensible decision, and it has probably come about from a sensible curriculum review.
"Cursive writing is a reflection of a time when we used a fountain pen and ink - a writing technology.
"Nobody is arguing that children shouldn't learn to write by hand. However writing technologies have continued to evolve and most of us use a keyboard of some kind to most of our written communication, so it does make sense to spend some time at school ensuring children have those keyboard skills."