Andhra Pradesh

Nellore sees quantum jump in literacy rate

A group of learners attending informal classes as part of a literacy drive at Mullamudi, near Nellore.

A group of learners attending informal classes as part of a literacy drive at Mullamudi, near Nellore.

Sitting on the Rachabanda at Mulamudi village, sixty-year-old Ramanaiah, a farmer, started reading a daily newspaper aloud as his fellow villagers looked on with surprise.

Sujata, another neo-literate in the village, says: “I no longer need to put my thumb impression while drawing money from bank. I can verify the cash balance in my account on my own.”

The change has been brought about because of the 100-day training programme, “Akshara Chaitanyam”, initiated by the Nellore district administration.

Explaining how the idea to undertake the programme came about, District Collector K.V.N. Chakradhar Babu said: “A few days back some persons, who came to register their complaints during the Grievance day proceedings, had put their thumb impression on a paper without knowing the content, and got cheated.” It was then that we realised the need to teach villagers basic reading and writing skills, he said, with a sense of satisfaction as 93.80% of the 1.24 lakh persons who attended the exams conducted earlier this month were declared passed.

Inspired by Sujata and Ramanaiah, scores of fellow villagers also enrolled themselves in the programme, to learn reading, writing and doing simple mathematical skills.

As a result, the literacy rate in the district, which was 67% as per the 2011 census, improved to 84% in just over four months of having begun the drive, said Mr. Chakradhar Babu.

At present, the literacy rate among men in the district stands at 85.8% and it is 82.2% among women.

The pass percentage was 95.01% among Scheduled Caste members and about 93% among the members of Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes.

Over 8,400 centres

The Collector said the classes are held at village secretariats. The trained education assistants and village volunteers shouldered the task of holding classes at the time convenient to the trainees in over 8,400 centers in 40 mandals, under the supervision by Joint Collector (Development) G. Ganesh Kumar. Six mandals have already been covered under the Centre’s Padhna Likhna Abhiyan.

The Open School Society had provided books and other material worth Rs.36.85 lakh to the beneficiaries.

‘’Now we will focus on imparting literacy to those who were covered in the programme so far. Our aim is to continue the drive until ever person in the district becomes literate,” said District Panchayat Officer M. Dhanalakshmi in a conversation with The Hindu .

Those keen on pursuing further education would be encouraged to appear in class III, V and VIII examinations under the open school system, added Ms. Dhanalakshmi.

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Printable version | May 19, 2022 5:41:42 am |