In a historic achievement, a total of 1,08,057 illiterate people, the majority of them belonging to the marginalised sections, have been initiated into the world of letters in the last four years in Kerala, according to government figures. It was also a period (2016-2020) that saw most number of tribal people achieving literacy in the last 30 years in the southern state, it said.
Besides tribals, a large number of fisherfolk people and migrant workers who came to Kerala from other states in search of jobs were also among those who either achieved literacy or pursued their discontinued studies through equivalency courses. The rare feat was achieved through various programmes implemented by the Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority (KSLMA), an autonomous institution under the General Education Department, Government of Kerala.
Besides those who learnt their first letters through the KSLMA programmes, a total of 1,35,608 people including women have cleared its various equivalency programmes- 24,148 students (fourth standard), 21, 950 (seventh standard), 64,663 (10th), 24,847 (plus two), as per the figures released by the Authority. Official sources said the figures assumed significance as only 4,600 people had achieved literacy through state government programmes during the period 2011-2015, during the tenure of the previous UDF government.