TED NewsDesk, Thiruvanantapuram: According to government figures a total of 1,08,057 illiterate people, the majority of them belonging to the marginalized sections, have achieved literacy. This is a historic moment for the state as this period (2016-2020) has seen the most number of tribal people achieving literacy.
Other groups which are included in this feat are fisherfolk people and migrant workers who came to Kerala from other states in search of jobs. Official sources said.
This achievement was a result of various programs implemented by the Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority (KSLMA), an autonomous institution under the General Education Department, Government of Kerala. “Changathi” drive helped over 5,400 migrant workers to learn Malayalam while 3188 people turned literate through the “Navachethana”, an initiative envisaged to eradicate illiteracy in scheduled caste (SC) colonies, the official added.
Moreover except for those who learned their first letters through the KSLMA programs, a total of 1,35,608 people including women have cleared its various equivalency programs- 24,148 students (fourth standard), 21, 950 (seventh standard), 64,663 (10th), 24,847 (plus two), as per the figures released by the Authority.
“The state of Kerala had started its literacy program in the 1990s but had given more prominence to primary education than the eradication of illiteracy in the following decades. It was in the last four years under the present government that a total literacy campaign was given due importance.” a KSLMA official told P T I. This achievement becomes more significant as only 4,600 people had achieved literacy through state government programs during the period 2011-2015, which was the tenure of the previous government.
The KSLMA official added that currently as per the state planning board, there are 18 lakh illiterate people in Kerala.
“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.” The director of KSLMA said. 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.
She also added that a total of 11,941 people achieved literacy through the “Aksharasagaram” project, a literacy-cum-equivalency project implemented in coastal areas of the state.