The study had following objectives: 1. To study historically the attempts at spread of literacy in Ernakulum District in pre- and post- independence period. 2. To study the achievement of total literacy in Ernakulam district in terms of the role played by: i. Voluntary organizations, ii. Different socio-cultural institutions/agencies, and iii. Government officials. 3. To identify the factors responsible for total literacy in Ernakulam district on The basis of the data regarding objectives 1&2.
It is a case study of Ernakulam district of Kerala which was the first district in the country to achieve total literacy. Individuals, groups, and organizations worked and involved with literacy related activities in the district and the State were also formed the parts of the case.
For objectives 1 & 2 unstructured interview was used. Besides this documents, records, and books were the major sources of data. Through elaborative note taking relevant information was abstracted from these sources. Photocopying and brief notes were further made under relevant heads and sub-heads to separate out information from various resources.
Case Study method was used.
Percentage analysis was done in case of numerical data and presented in comparative table after comparative analysis in certain cases. Data collected through unstructured interviews were coded thematically and content analysed.
The study arrived at following findings: 1. There was a considerable upward trend in literacy progress since the end of 19th century. 2. To keep the tempo of socio-political awareness education was probably looked upon as a kindling factor. This might have taken a few to the State and Missionary schools. In short socio-political compulsions necessitated the opening of the schools. 3.There was a visible political commitment on the part of the administration to cater to mass education by expanding primary education. 4. Private schools might have prompted the spread of literacy across various pockets of the society to some extent. 5. All these factors resulted in a high proportion of the school going age children attending school in Cochin even before independence. 6. Village libraries and print media were complementary features of the growing school going culture in Cochin. They supported the sustainable growth of literacy. 7. Thus the growing socio-political awareness, the need for keeping the tempo of this awareness, the wishful thinking of the economic upward mobility with the expanding commerce and trade, the availability of education as a commodity outside the purview of caste canons, the need felt for raising socio-cultural awareness, considering education as potential tool for achieving the purpose, all these factors promoted the spread of literacy.
Keyword(s): Total Literacy, Demographic Study,