THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: S Rajendran, a 66-year-old tribal chief from Achankovil, Kollam, emerged topper in ‘Samagra’- a literacy examination in selected tribal hamlets - by scoring 96 marks. As many as 2,179 tribals residing in 100 hamlets across the state wrote the literacy examination.
Rajendran has two sons who are government employees. The tribal chief does farming in his land as well. “Rajendran’s interest in learning made him join the literacy classes. He is a good singer and he sings on the way to his classes. From Achankovil hamlet around 25 students wrote the exam,” said Sreelakshmi, a Samagra instructor.
A comprehensive literacy initiative
The literacy programme is jointly implemented by the Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority and the Scheduled Tribes Development Department (STDD). Among the candidates, 1,600 were women. The classes started in March after the STDD identified the tribal hamlets with the lowest literacy rates.
The Samagra programme has roped in tribals who are trained to be instructors to carry out the literacy programme in 283 hamlets.
Candidates who are successful in the exam will be able to pursue higher studies through equivalency exams. Classes in social literacy are also provided.
Among the various tribal hamlets in the state, Palakkad and Wayanad districts have the highest number of hamlets included in the project- 25 each. As many as 15 hamlets in Idukki are part of the initiative.
The students who scored highest marks in various literacy programmes of the Kerala Literacy Mission including Aksharasagaram, Navachethana, Samagra and Changathi, will be honoured at the ‘Mikavulsavam’ to be held at PWD Rest House, Thycaud on Monday, as part of Human Rights Day.
Education Minister C Raveendranath will distribute the certificates to the winners.
Justice Antony Dominic, Kerala State Human Rights Commission chairman, will deliver a speech as part of the Constitution awareness education programme.