A 105-year-old woman from Kerela who appeared for fourth standard equivalency exam has cleared it with flying colours making her the oldest student in the nation, national media reported. Bhageerathi Amma had appeared for the examination, conducted by the state literacy mission, at Kollam last year and the result was announced by the literacy mission on Wednesday.
As per the results, she scored 205 out of a total of 275 marks and also scored full marks in maths. Due to her old age, she took three days to complete all the three question papers on Environment, Mathematics and Malayalam, literacy mission souces said.
Ammar who quit her education after class 3 due to circumstances became the oldest ‘equivalency learner’ in Kerala State Literacy Mission to date. The woman has 12 grand and great-grandchildren. Literacy mission director P S Srikala visited the woman at her house in Kollam, about 80 km from here, to congratulate her.
The elderly woman had to leave her formal education at the age of nine after the sudden demise of her mother who left her with her younger siblings to take care of. Amma who always yearned to gain knowledge faced another blow after her husband passed away leaving her with the responsibilities of her kids while she was in her thirties. Bhageerathi Amma said she was keen to appear for the tenth standard equivalency examination. A total of 11,593 candidates wrote the fourth standard equivalency examination of which 10,012, including 9456 women, cleared it, literacy mission release said.
According to the 2011 census, there were around 18.5 lakh illiterates in the state. To wipe out illiteracy completely, the Mission has chalked out several programmes, especially among marginalised groups like tribals, fisherfolk and slum dwellers. Meanwhile, another report states that Kerala has a literacy rate of 93.91 per cent as compared to 74.04 per cent of India.
(with inputs from agencies)