“Malayalam examination was easy. I wrote it well.” Everyone congratulated and clapped, when Sufikul Islam Mandal of West Bengal said this in a chaste Malayalam.
He was one of the migrant workers who wrote the Changathi literacy examination organised by the literacy mission at Kolazhy in Thrissur recently. In all, 92 labourers working in and around Kolazhy attended the examination. Sufikul Islam Mandal, 51, was the seniormost student.
The Changathi project has been envisaged by the literacy mission for teaching migrant labourers to read and write Malayalam and Hindi.
“Though migrant labourers have become an inevitable part of many sectors in the State, they still face exclusion in society. The Kerala Literacy Mission introduced the programme as a solution for this. They were taught to read and write Malayalam so that they understand the socio-cultural features of the State,” said district coordinator of the Literacy Mission Saji Thomas.
Kolazhy panchayat was selected for the Changathi project in Thrissur district and classes were arranged at the shelters of workers after their working time. Instructors were proficient in Hindi, Bengali, and Malayalam. There were no women among the 92 migrant labourers, who attended the examination.
Examination was conducted based on ‘Hamari Malayalam’, a textbook specially prepared by the literacy mission for the purpose. The study material was prepared keeping in mind the working conditions of migrant workers. The book had chapters dealing with various topics, including hygiene, health, values, and rights of workers.
The pattern of the questions included filling the gaps, choosing the right words, and reading Malayalam words.