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One lakh in Kerala get literate in four years

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Thiruvananthapuram: In yet another first, the Kerala State has managed to get 1,08,057 literate in a span of four years between (2016-2020). The education department officials say that a majority of them belong to the marginalized sections of the society.

In the last few years there is a huge influx of migrant workers from other states to Kerala who form a major workforce in construction and other sectors. The state being on the coast has a sizable fisherfolk who hitherto did not get good education. Officials say that tribals, fisherfolk and migrants were roped in for literacy.

The Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority (KSLMA), an autonomous institution under the General Education Department, Government of Kerala has taken up several measures to improve the literacy levels in the state.

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

Interestingly, only 4,600 people had achieved literacy through state government programmes during the period 2011-2015, during the tenure of the previous UDF government.

“After the much touted total literacy programme during 1990s, 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 total literacy campaign was given due importance,” a KSLMA official said.

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 marginalised 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 3,188 people turned literate through the “Navachethana”, an initiative envisaged to eradicate illiteracy in scheduled caste (SC) colonies, the official added.

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