Staff Reporter

Education Minister to make the declaration today

Project was kicked off in December 2005

Training centres to be made e-payment centres

Kozhikode: Kozhikode has achieved the rare distinction of being the first city in the State to attain 100 per cent e-literacy. Education Minister M.A. Baby will make an official declaration in this regard here on Friday.

An e-literacy project, kicked off in December 2005, scripted the success story with the joint efforts of the city Corporation, the Akshaya and the Kudumbasree, Mayor M. Bhaskaran said here on Thursday.

The objective is to make a member of every household in the city e-literate. And 93.5 per cent of the 80,532 households have attained cyber fluency. The declaration is being made since the district has crossed the 90 per cent mark, he said.

The beneficiaries contributed 40 per cent of the fee of Rs.120 for a training period of 15 hours. The civic body paid the rest. The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes were exempted from the fee. The Corporation spent Rs.64.42 lakh for the programme, the Mayor said.

The participants were trained at 10 Akshya e-centres at Puthiyangadi, West Hill, Nadakkavu, Kovoor, Muzhikkal Bazar, Pushpa Junction, Mankavu, Meenchanda, Kannadikkal Junction and Eranhipalam. Now all these centres will function as e-payment centres similar to the Friends Jana Seva Kendras.

Residents could pay their bills to BSNL, the Kerala State Electricity Board and the Kerala Water Authority in these centres. Steps by step people could make use of the Akshaya e-centres to get railway e-tickets, remit fees of Calicut University and LIC premium and file Income Tax returns. They could also make use of the services of the Regional Transport Office and the Kerala State Financial Enterprises, Mr. Bhaskaran said.

As part of the second phase of the e-literacy programme, the beneficiaries could participate in a 40-hour e-vidya training programme. The fee for a participant is Rs.480. The Corporation will shoulder 50 per cent of the expenditure of each participant, he said.

Akshaya coordinator P.S. Ashitha said the e-vidya courseware focused on ‘Internet for Masses.’ After successful completion of the training programme, the participants would be awarded a certificate issued by Akshaya and the Information Technology Mission.

The beneficiaries would have the opportunity to get familiarised with programmes in Malayalam, English and Arabic. Without the aid of a language expert, one could take part in a “Learn and Speak English Course” and an Arabic language typing course, Al-tahrib.