Thiruvananthapuram: The photographs of 97-year-old Karthyayani Amma writing Aksharalaksham examination at Harippad, Alappuzha, had gone viral couple of months ago. Keralites lauded her perseverance and hard work despite old age. Now, when the state literacy mission authority announced the results, Karthyayani Amma has set a new record by scoring a stellar 98 out of 100. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will honour her in a ceremony to be held at the CM's conference hall in Secretariat, here on Thursday.
Malayala Manorama had published a photograph of Karthyayani Amma attending examination at Kanichanellur UP school, Muttom, on August 6. She was the oldest among 42,933 candidates who cleared the literacy examinations this year.
'Aksharalaksham,' a project by the Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority (KSLMA) aimed at eradicating illiteracy among aged and deprived population of Kerala, has attained 99.08 per cent success this year, as 42,933 out of 43,330 candidates cleared the test.
The examination focused upon three core areas: reading, writing and mathematics. Karthyayani Amma secured 38 out of 40 in writing, and cent per cent in reading and maths. Commenting on her achievement, Karthyayani Amma told the media that the question paper did not feature some of the portions she had studied for the examinations. "I learned so much for no reason. The tests were way too easy for me," she said. Ramachandran Pillai (right) who was seated near Karthyayani Amma for 'Aksharalaksham' examination scored 88 marks out of 100.
Karthyayani Amma aims at clearing tenth standard equivalent examination when she turns 100.
The 'Aksharalaksham' literacy project, flagged off by the government of Kerala on Republic Day this year, operates through 20,86 accredited learning centres across the state. The learning centres were established following a trial survey that was conducted in the 21,908 wards of Kerala.
"We look forward to extend opportunities of better education and livelihood to those who had to discontinue their schooling due to various reasons," KSLMA chairperson P S Sreekala said. “Financial and health issues, lack of schools in close vicinity, lack of support from parents and bad experiences at school might have forced them to discontinue their education. This is only the first phase of 'Aksharalaksham' project. Our aim is to literate all the 18.5 lakh of identified illiterates in Kerala, within 4 years,” she added.