40 centres are functioning in the block
Teachers in Manikandam block have taken up ‘Karpom Ezhuthuvom’ (Let’s Learn, Let’s Write), an adult literacy programme of the Department of School Education. Teachers attached to various government schools in the block gather and teach adults over the age of 18 how to read and write.
Speaking to The Hindu, Block Education Officer K. Marudhanayagam said that a census was taken in the block where it was found at least 8,000 people, many of them women were illiterate. The teachers organised themselves into teams and decided to take up this project.
While some schools began teaching the adults in November, some started in February. A total of 40 centres, of at least 20 students in each, are functioning. “Some have learnt to sign their names in English and Tamil, while some have gone as far as reading books prescribed for students of Class 3 and 4,” Mr. Marudhanayagam said.
Chithra Rani, one of the teachers who has undertaken the programme, said that with students unable to attend classes due to COVID-19, the teachers felt the need to help the adults out. Ms. Chitra went door-to-door to meet them and tell them the benefits of learning to read and write.
“It is difficult to bring them to the school to learn, as they have housework to do, but they just need a little push,” she said. There are women over the age of 80 who now read books fluently. “A 60-year-old grandmother became overjoyed as she signed her name at the bank after not being able to do it all these years. These are small wins for us,” she said.
Mr. Marudhanayagam said that children also get motivated as they watch their grandparents learn. “We send the adults some homework for practice. When the children see their grandparents do homework instead of watching TV, they follow suit,” he said.
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