Udayavni Special

Over one lakh people achieve literacy in Kerala in four years


PTI, Feb 19, 2021, 12:26 PM IST

Source: Unsplash

In a historic achievement, a total of 1,08,057 illiterate people, the majority of them belonging to the marginalized sections, have been initiated into the world of letters in the last four years in Kerala, according to government figures.

It was also a period (2016-2020) that saw the most number of tribal people achieving literacy in the last 30 years in the southern state, it said.

Besides tribals, a large number of fisherfolk people and migrant workers who came to Kerala from other states in search of jobs were also among those who either achieved literacy or pursued their discontinued studies through equivalency courses, officials sources said.

The rare feat was achieved through various programs implemented by the Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority(KSLMA), an autonomous institution under the General Education Department, Government of Kerala.

Besides those who learned their first letters through the KSLMA programs, a total of 1,35,608 people including women have cleared its various equivalency programmes- 24,148students (fourth standard), 21, 950 (seventh standard), 64,663(10th), 24,847 (plus two), as per the figures released by the Authority.

Official sources said the figures assumed significance as only4,600 people had achieved literacy through state government programs during the period 2011-2015, during the tenure of the previous UDF government.

”After the much-touted total literacy program during1990s, Kerala had given more prominence to primary education than the eradication of illiteracy in the later decades. After so many years, it was during the last four years under the present government that the total literacy campaign was given due importance,” a KSLMA official told P T I.

As per the state Planning Board figures 2011, there are 18 lakh illiterate people in Kerala, he said.

KSLMA director P S Sreekala said the achievement in the literacy and education sector was the result of special drives implemented by the agency focusing on the marginalized areas including tribal colonies and fishing hamlets.

Listing out various projects by the Literacy Mission, she said 12,968 people became literate through the special tribal literacy drive implemented in Wayanad and Attappady in Palakkad district, one of the largest and most backward tribal settlements in the southern state.

A total of 11,941 people achieved literacy through the ”Aksharasagaram” project, a literacy-cum-equivalency project implemented in coastal areas of the state, she said.

”Changathi” drive helped over 5,400 migrant workers to learn Malayalam while 3188 people turned literate through the ”Navachethana”, an initiative envisaged eradicating illiteracy in scheduled caste (SC) colonies, the official added.

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