Kerala to provide education to expat workers

Dubai:  Kerala is expanding its Literacy Mission wings to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to provide education to thousands of Keralites who have not completed secondary school education, a senior mission official has said.

The Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority (KSLMA) successfully attained its goal of providing 100 per cent literacy in Kerala two decades ago.

According to the official, the mission is planning to implement the programme in different phases.

"In the first phase we will implement it in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In the next phase, we will launch it in Oman also," citing KSLMA administrative chairman Saleem Kuruvambalam, Times of Oman reported yesterday.

The state government bodies, Indian missions, local schools, educators and local Indian associations will play a crucial role to help bring the programme to the GCC countries where thousands of expatriates from Kerala will obtain the valid Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) from the educational authority in the state.

"The move will benefit thousands of labourers working in the GCC countries in different categories, who face several obstacles related to visa processing, emigration and lost opportunities," Kuruvambalam told the newspaper.

The mission will provide a chance to the labourers in the age group of 17-60 years who have completed 7th standard to appear for an SSLC-equivalent examination in the UAE and Qatar, by undergoing a rigorous study programme during the first phase.

Candidates have to register for the course by paying a nominal fee and they will get the study materials in the form of especially prepared nine books in Malayalam, English, Hindi, Social Studies, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and IT, the report said.

Classes will be held according to plans arranged at a later stage when resource persons will be made available with the help of Indian associations and educators in schools and the society at large, .

A preliminary study says that around 70-75 per cent of the labour force is school drop-out who could not continue their education.

These workers in the Gulf, even though they want to bring in their families, are not able to do so because of their visa status. They will become eligible for family status afterobtaining this SSLC-equivalent certificate.
Story First Published: August 28, 2012 16:09 IST

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