THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As many as 900 trainers have been upskilled with the necessary skills to take on the challenge of teaching 8,500 illiterate people in the city. This is as part of the mega literacy mission 'Aksharasree', which is slated to kick off in the city. The pilot project jointly implemented by the Kerala State Literacy Mission (KLSM) and the City Corporation has seen the completion of the final phase of the training sessions for the instructors.
The project is being fully funded by the City Corporation.
The first of its kind literacy project encompasses the elementary course, Class IV, Class VII, and Class X equivalency courses along with a higher secondary course. As many as 100 trainers have been assigned for the elementary course, 200 for the Class IV equivalency course, 300 for Class VII equivalency course, 180 for Class X equivalency course and 120 for the higher secondary course. Training for the instructors has been completed.
The classes which are slated to start from March 15 will be conducted at the 500 specially equipped Aksharasree study centres in the city. Government offices, libraries, clubs, Corporation offices and other public enterprises have been chosen as centres to conduct the classes while the Class X equivalency course and higher secondary classes will be held in public schools.
The elementary course examination will be held on June 23, the Class IV equivalency course examination on September 29 and Class VII equivalency course examination on November 24.As many as 25 illiterate people will be given classes in each ward in the elementary course, 20 in the Class IV equivalency course, 15 each in the Class VII equivalency course and Class X equivalency course and 10 for the higher secondary course.
Considering all the 100 wards, a total of 2,500 students have registered for the elementary course, 2,000 for the Class IV equivalency course, 1,500 each for the VII equivalency course and Class X equivalency course, and 1,000 for the higher secondary course.Unlike the higher secondary course which is being held for both the men and women, the elementary course, Class IV equivalency course, Class VII equivalency course, and Class X equivalency course classes are being held solely for women.
“The focus is more on empowering womenfolk and as such the classes are held solely for women in the first phase of the project. We have conducted surveys and ascertained the exact number of illiterates in the 100 wards in the city. With the involvement of the corporation, and if they approve funding for the project in the following years, the project can be taken forth and we can achieve 100 percent literacy,” said a KSLM official.
The instructor tribe comprises former students of the Literacy Mission Project who aced the course. "They have been given proper training to take the classes. Meanwhile, the classes for the Class X equivalency course and the higher secondary course will be handled by school educators," he added.
The larger aim of the Literacy Mission is to implement the free literacy project with the involvement of the City Corporations across the state.
The survey observed by the Corporation and KSLM found 11,764 illiterates in the city and that women formed a major chunk of it. About 7,256 women are estimated to be illiterates.