At present, the literacy rate of Tamil Nadu, as per 2011 census, stands at 80.33 per cent, which is higher than the national average of 74.04 per cent.
Male literacy also stands at 82.14 per cent against the national average of 82.14 per cent but female literacy also stands at 73.86 per cent against the national figure of 65.46 per cent only.
Officials from the Directorate of Statistics Department said that there has been an increase of about 7 per cent in the effective literacy rate (7.3 per cent in rural areas and 4.5 per cent in urban areas) from 2001 to 2011.
They further said it is expected to increase further by 9 per cent and the State’s literacy rate likely will stand at about 90 per cent, which will be reflected in the 2021 census.
Interestingly, literacy rate of Kanniyakumari (92.14 per cent) is highest among others of its counterpart regions, including Chennai, which has the figure of 90.33 per cent.
A senior official from the School Education Department said the State have launched Karkum Bharatham scheme, for acquiring basic literacy, that has benefited more than 30 lakh people living in far-flung districts.
Stating that the scheme was implemented in nine literacy poor districts, including at Perambalur and Krishnagiri, he said, “The scheme will contribute largely to the State’s overall literacy rate.”
“In addition to Karkum Bharatham, the State has also launched special adult literacy programme in the districts such as Ramanathapuram and Virudhunagar districts in a bid to provide basic literacy and numeracy to the identified illiterate adults,” the official said.
The official also pointed out that by calculating the number of beneficiaries from various adult literacy schemes for the last six years, the overall literacy rate of the State might also cross 9 per cent.
“The only issue is that, in recent times, the number of illiterate migrant workers, especially from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, have increased and it has impacted the overall literacy rates,” he said. “The government is also taking steps to identify them and provide basic literacy,” he added.