Age is no bar for pursuing education – this statement has been proved right by a 96-year-old woman named Karthyayani Amma , in Kerala who appeared for the literacy examination held by Kerala State Literacy Mission on Sunday.

We find many people saying that now they are too old to study again and now it’s not their age to appear for examinations, but all these statements have been proved as mere excuses for not trying hard to study further by this Kerala woman. Driven by an inner urge to read and write, Karthyayani Amma, aged 96 appeared for the Aksharalaksham literacy examination along with 40,363 other people at the Cheppad government LP school in Kerala. Basically, Aksharalaksham is a project of the mission to achieve 100% numerical literacy and it targets people within the 16-75 age group. Undoubtedly, Karthyayani Amma was the oldest to appear for the examination.

The examination, whose first phase began at 10 a.m., was appeared by 40,363 examinees out of which 29,500 were women. The maximum number of people who appeared for the examination was from Thiruvananthapuram district, at 9,074 while the least was from Kottayam, at 711. The examinees were tested on three basic skills namely, reading, writing, and Mathematics in the 100-mark paper. The examinees were required to secure at least 30 marks to pass — at least nine marks out of 30 in reading, 12 out of 40 in writing, and nine out of 30 in Mathematics.

Prior to organizing this examination, a survey was held in the region to know about its literacy rate. As per the survey, there were as many as 47, 241 illiterates found in the region out of which 46,349 attended classes for getting education and 40,363 appeared for the examination on Sunday. As per the survey, there were maximum number of illiterates in Palakkad district, at 10,348, and the least in Pathanamthitta, at 434. Anyway, what is most important here is that most pessimistic people about old-age education should learn from the example set by Karthyayani Amma  and never subside their desire to attain higher education – whatever their age may be.

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