Cashew workers in literacy classes from today

Literacy mission’s programme for labourers in KSCDC factories

Around 14,000 cashew labourers working in the 30 factories of Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC) now have a chance to continue their education and apply for higher positions.

As part of a programme jointly launched by KSCDC and the Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority (KSLMA), the first batch of 418 students from the workforce will start attending the classes on Monday.

Classes arranged at the factories will follow COVID-19 protocol and Class 10 equivalency courses will be conducted in the initial phase.

For advanced courses

The KSLMA’s continuing education programme offers both literacy and equivalency courses. The corporation will help those who want do advanced courses attend programmes offered by Sree Narayana Guru Open University. “The labourers are pinning their hopes on this programme as it offers them a chance to balance their work and study schedules. It is for the first time such a programme is being introduced among cashew labourers. Women working in all sections, including shelling, peeling and grading, can sign up for the courses. The seating has been arranged as per social distancing norms,” said KSCDC chairman S. Jayamohan.

Fee payment

The classes will follow a format starting with an ice-breaking session. The methodology involves peer tutoring, extracurricular activities, and study tours. While illiterates and persons who have not completed Class 7 can enrol for the literacy course, those have passed Class 7 and Class 10 can attend the next level equivalency courses. They can opt for Class 10 and Plus Two equivalency courses and the KSCDC will take care of all the expenses.

Other jobs in factory

Labourers who clear upper level exams can apply for other positions in the factory and the main objective of the programme is to improve the living standards of the labourers. The KSLMA had conducted a survey among cashew labourers working in the 26 KSCDC factories in Kollam to find illiterate people and dropouts. While the KSLMA will offer free Class 7 equivalency course, the fee for other courses will be paid from the corporation’s welfare fund.

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