KOCHI: Though the Union Government had stopped funding for improving the literacy status of the state, the Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority (KSLMA) is on an effort to regain the fully literate status by 2016.
No official data of the number of illiterates in the state is available, but a baseline status prepared by KSLMA says that there are around 1.4 lakh people who do not know to read and write. As these people have been identified, they will be included in the second phase of Athulyam project, where they will be able to write examination equivalent to fourth standard.
According to M Sujai, Director, KSLMA, the illiterate people have been identified by the respective Preraks. They will be made to write the examination with the support of the district panchayats.
“Though there is financial crunch, the Preraks were given their financial assistance from the fund received from the state government and the amount collected as fee for the examination. In the second phase of Athulyam project, women empowerment and employment skills are also included,” the KSLMA director said.
The beneficiaries in the Athulyam project are those between the age group of 15 and 50.
The initial work of the project is expected to be started by the first week of February, as soon the panchayat in each Assembly constituency is identified to implement it.
Sujai pointed out that, last time, around 30,000 people wrote the fourth standard equivalent examination. This time too the registration is progressing for the conduct of classes by the Preraks.
Along with the fourth standard equivalent examination, preparations for the seventh and tenth standard examinations too have started.
Though the classes for the fourth and seventh standard examination are conducted by Preraks, those writing the examination for the 10th standard are given training by qualified higher secondary teachers.
According to the census of 2011, there were 20 lakh illiterates in the state. The present data may not be accurate as it was prepared by the Preraks, and it is likely to go up if an agency conducts a detailed survey. Several illiteracy pockets were identified in the state which include tribal areas, fishermen community, linguistic minorities and slum dwellers.
Priority will be given to these sectors as the number is very high here.