THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Ninety-six-year-old Karthyayani Amma bagged the first rank in the ‘Aksharalaksham’ literacy exam, scoring an impressive 98 out of 100. She was ecstatic on Thursday. But was she satisfied? “I am wondering where did I lose the two marks. I was expecting to score a perfect 100,” the nonagenarian said with a chuckle. Her target now is to complete her Class 10 studies and get a job. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan handed her the certificate on Thursday. The Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority had conducted the exam.
The 96-year-old native of Cheppad in Alappuzha will now be preparing for the Class IV equivalent exam. Not one to give up on her dreams, Karthyayani wants to learn to use a computer and would like to own one so that she can use it in her free time. She was excited to get the certificate from Pinarayi. To his query whether she wanted to pursue graduation, Karthyayani said, “If my children are willing to teach me further, I would love to.” Karthyayani lives in Alappuzha with her daughter and grandchildren. She never attended school and worked as a cleaning staffer in temples.
“Seeing my grandchildren study at home made me wish for a chance to study. So when they asked me during the literacy mission survey whether I would like to join their course, I went for it,” she said.
Her teacher Sathi K was excited to share the experience of teaching her brightest student.
“It was difficult for Karthyayani to attend classes. So, I visited her home and taught her. She was always excited to learn new things and I was sure she would score good marks,” Sathi said. In becoming the rank holder, the 96-year-old beat all her classmates. A total of 43,330 candidates passed in the exam, the results of which were announced on Wednesday.
Besides Karthyayani, Pinarayi also presented the course certificate to Neyyatt-inkara native Vishnu Kumari, 37, the youngest among those who qualified the ‘Aksharalaksham’ exam. The state government had introduced the ‘Aksharalaksham’ programme on January 26 to achieve 100 per cent literacy in the