Karthyayani Amma is cynosure of all eyes

The 96-year-old sets her sights on class 10 equivalency exam

November 01, 2018 09:38 pm | Updated 09:38 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

She seemed unfazed by the attention she was receiving. The 96-year-old Karthyayani Amma, the oldest learner to clear the Aksharalaksham literacy examination of the Kerala State Literacy Mission, had reached the Secretariat on Thursday to receive a certificate for her excellent show from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Karthyayani Amma who scored 98 out of 100, losing two marks in the writing examination, is raring to study more. Asked about her next goal, she told Mr. Vijayan that she had set her sights on clearing the class 10 equivalency examination and learning computers.

Children inspire

Asked what prompted her to study, she replied that seeing children study had inspired her. Her daughter Amminiamma has cleared the class 10 equivalency examination.

When the Chief Minister learnt that Karthyayani Amma liked poetry, he asked her if she could recite a poem. The native of Cheppad, Haripad, in Alappuzha district then recited Changampuzha’s ‘Malarani Kaadukal...’ in the presence of Minister for Culture A.K. Balan, poet Sugathakumari, Literacy Mission Director P.S. Sreekala, and Malayalam Mission Director Suja Susan George.

Youngest learner

Thirty-seven-year-old Vishnu Kumari of Athiyannoor in the capital district, the youngest learner, also received the Aksharalaksham certificate from Mr. Vijayan.

Aksharalaksham is a project of the mission to achieve 100% literacy. Though the State has achieved total literacy as per Unesco norms, traces of illiteracy remain. As per the 2011 Census, there are 18 lakh illiterates in the State, and the project aims at bridging the gap.

As many as 43,330 people sat for the first phase of the Aksharalaksham examination in August, and 42,933, including 37,166 women, passed.

The candidates were tested on reading, writing, and Mathematics. The pass mark was 30, with minimum nine needed in reading, 12 in writing, and nine in Mathematics.

In the second phase, Aksharalaksham will be implemented in one local body in each district.

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