September 17, 2013
Tripura Tops in Literacy Rate

Tripura Tops in Literacy Rate Rahul Sinha TRIPURA recently surged ahead of Kerala to achieve the top position in the literacy chart in India. The state’s literacy rate now stands at 94.65 percent. In comparison, the literacy rate in Mizoram is 88.80 percent and in Kerala 93.91 percent, as per the available records. Thus, according to the latest figures, the state of Tripura now tops the chart of states in terms of literacy. This is indeed a great achievement. With this achievement, the mass education programme which was started by the stalwarts like Comrade Dasharath Deb and his comrades way back in 1945, under the name of Janasiksha Samiti, finally reached its pinnacle on September 8, 2013. “Our goal is to 100 percent literacy and we would attain it very soon,” said the Tripura chief minister, Manik Sarkar, at a function in Agartala to mark World Literacy Day on Sunday, September 8. He also thanked the state literacy mission and everyone involved in the strenuous campaign that has brought glory to the state. The chief minister made the declaration (94.65 per cent) on the basis of final assessment made in all the districts of the state. Earlier, Tripura became the fourth most literate state in India after the 2011 census recorded 87.75 percent literacy here. In 2001, in contrast, Tripura’s place was the 13th in the country. Now after the final evaluation of the literacy campaign, the final figure has reached 94.65 percent. The chief minister said the figure was based on the data provided by the Indian Statistical Institute whose representatives were present in the different evaluation centres. About 4600 sheets are yet to be evaluated and after their results are published the literacy rate in the state may hopefully cross 95 percent. But we are not complacent; we shall have to attain 100 percent literacy, the chief minister asserted. Manik Sarkar said the central guidelines gave us a chance to declare the state fully literate when we attained 80 percent literacy rate. But it was our conscious decision that we want it to be 100 percent --- literally. With this aim, programmes were undertaken under the aegis of the state literacy mission. In 8152 literacy centres, 8154 teachers have worked tirelessly. The central guidelines include only those between the age of 15-45 years in this programme, but we extended it to the age of 50 years. Moreover, when even those above 50 wanted to be enrolled, we accommodated them too. Sarkar said that, however, mere becoming literate will not suffice; they should be able to run their families too. The state government has decided that the newly literates would be given vocational training free of cost. For this purpose, gradually, four training centres will be opened in Agartala Municipal Corporation area. Two such centres would be opened in each of the 58 blocks across the state, and one in every Nagar Panchayat area. Here vocational training will be imparted to the newly literate. If needed, trainers will be brought from outside the state. The nodal agency (the state literacy mission) and other connected organisations started getting success in the state’s remote and hilly areas after the security forces contained the problem of armed extremists. The education scenario was earlier in a completely dismal shape in interior areas as a fallout of the insurgency.