On Monday (17 June 2019), the Kerala government honoured as many as 21 school dropouts transgenders for passing examinations equivalent to class 10 and 12, under the Kerala Literacy Mission scheme.
The transgender students were honoured by Kerala’s Education Minister, Professor C Ravindranath, at an event organized by Kerala Saksharath (Literacy) Mission.
The organization, Kerala Literacy mission, works primarily towards helping school dropout complete their study. They organised classes on the second Saturdays and Sundays of each month, in order to make education feasible for transgender students, who cannot attend regular classes as most of them do odd jobs for their livelihood.
The students were provided books for free, and there was no exam fee for them and they were also given a monthly stipend of Rs 1000.
Asma, one of the transgender, who was honoured in the ceremony, said, “I had to drop my studies for some reason. When I decided to appear in 10 examinations, I was not confident but it is the support of Literary Mission workers which helped me pass the exam. Now I am enrolled for plus one”. She also appreciated state government effortS for starting many projects for the welfare of transgender.
Ardra, another transgender student said, “I dropped out of the school due to the bad approach of the students and teachers. When I rejoined studies, there was no teacher ready to teach us. After they (Saksharatha Mission) learned about us, they supported us. I wanted to learn as much as I can,” reported the Asian Age.
“I would like to tell other transgender to kindly use this opportunity,” she added.
“Education for all and Education for ever”
Kerala launched the Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority in 1998 for the purpose of coordinating and activating the ‘Literacy and continuing education activities, with a slogan “Education for all and Education for ever“. The organisation received great success and bagged the title of total literacy, with the state having literacy rates of 94%, which is highest among all state in India.
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