Kerala Becomes The First State In India To Achieve 100% Primary Education
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Kerala was declared as the first state in the country to attain total primary education by Vice President Hamid Ansari at a function held at Kerala University Senate Hall for the state-wide declaration of total primary education. The merit was achieved through the ‘Athulyam’ project launched by Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority (KSLMA). Kerala has been constantly ranked as number one when it comes to education indicators in the decennial census of India. The Vice President said that the achievement was yet another ‘feather in the state’s educational cap’.
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The Programme was implemented in the state in two phases and was meant for people aged between 15 and 50 years who were unable to get primary level education. Every individual who completed the programme successfully got Class 4 level certification. According to programme statistics a public examination was held in June 2015 in which 2.6 lakh people appeared. The exam was held in 6,613 centres across various districts of the state and those who scored a minimum of 20 marks in English and 30 marks in other subjects were declared as winners. Those who had passed the Class 4 equivalency examination were eligible to enrol for the Class 7 equivalency examination. The 2nd phase of the scheme was launched as part of Mission 676 which referred to the remaining days of Oomen Chandy government beginning 7th may 2014. The “Mission 676”, was launched for the speedy implementation of major infrastructure and social schemes to give a push to accelerate development and to make the state a better place to live in.
Before the scheme was launched in the state a comprehensive field survey had to be conducted. The survey was done under the ‘LEAP mission’ in selected panchayats so that total number of illiterates and school dropouts could be enumerated. The scheme got immense help from volunteers. ‘LEAP’ or ‘Lifelong Education Access Programme’ aimed at making far-reaching changes in literacy programmes with emphasis on job-oriented training and better awareness among citizens. In the second phase, dropouts and those who had not received primary education were identified and provided equivalency classes. Vocational training for the backward, awareness programmes for raising living standards, revival of folk art forms, computer literacy, and special programmes for the mentally and physically challenged, the SC’s, ST’s, slum and coastal area dwellers were to be integrated with Athulyam scheme which was a mammoth task in itself.
Education indicators in Kerala are almost always starkly in contrast when compared with other states in the country. Kerala has repeatedly shown that education is the best investment in any kind of social capital for development of all institutions. With the state achieving 100 percent total primary education milestone it’s only pertinent that other states take cues from Athulyam scheme and apply it with personalised touch to their own region keeping in mind their size, expanse and needs. Not failing to Laud the state’s achievements in education and various other socio-economic indicators, Ansari said that the day was a historic one for the state.