THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Wayanad, the only district in the state which does not meet the ‘total literacy’ criteria, has set for itself the ambitious target of catching up with other districts in terms of literacy rate by April, 2020.
Home to 31.2 per cent of the state’s tribal people, Wayanad district has an overall literacy rate of 89.03 per cent. According to Unesco guidelines, a region can be declared totally literate if at least 90 per cent of the population is able to read and write.
The State Literacy Mission has identified the low literacy rate of 71 per cent among tribal people as the prime reason for the district’s failure to achieve total literacy tag. Since 2017, it has successfully implemented two phases of a special tribal literacy programme in Wayanad. As many as 7,302 tribal people residing in 500 colonies were made literate in the first two phases.
The final lap
The third and final phase of the tribal literacy programme in Wayanad is set to be rolled out from October 20 with a survey to identify people who could not join the first two phases. The registration of beneficiaries will be held between October 21 and 31 and the classes will start on November 1.
The literacy mission will conduct an exam in the last week of March 2020. The distribution of literacy certificates to beneficiaries and declaration of total literacy is expected to be held April, 2020. To ensure total success of the initiative, a organising committee with Education Minister C Raveendranath and MPs Rahul Gandhi and MP Veerendrakumar has been formed.
According to state literacy mission director P S Sreekala, the special literacy programme has brought in many positive changes in the tribal settlements of Wayanad.
“Through proper awareness created through the literacy classes, the use of tobacco, liquor and other intoxicants among tribal people has come down drastically,” Sreekala said.
After attending classes themselves, the tribal people have started to focus on their children’s schooling as well. An impact of this is seen in the low dropout of tribal children from schools, she added.