104-year-old Woman Tops Kerala Literacy Exam

Compliments and accolades are pouring in for 104-year-old Kuttiyamma who aced a preliminary literacy examination conducted by the Kerala government last week.

Kuttiyamma, a native of Ayarkunnam panchayat in Kottayam district, scored 89 out of 100 marks in an examination conducted as a part of ‘Mikavulsavam’, a project of the Kerala State Literacy Mission to test preliminary knowledge of students.


Those clearing the examination with flying colours, like Kuttiyamma, are eligible to sit for the fourth-grade equivalent literacy exam. As part of the project, such examinations are held in every panchayat in the state.

State Education Minister V Sivankutty congratulated the centenarian for her grit and determination. He said that Kuttiyamma showed that a person’s age is no hurdle in making an entry into the world of letters, words and knowledge. “If there is a mind to achieve goals, age is just a number,” he said.


Once the results came out on Nov 10, the members of Ayarkunnam panchayat council visited Kuttiyamma’s residence and felicitated her. District leaders of the CPI(M) and the BJP also made their way to her home to congratulate her on her achievement.

Saksharata prerak Rehna, who trained Kuttiyamma in reading, writing and other aspects of the literacy examination, told, “She was very interested in learning. She used to read the newspaper a bit.


Her family members told me that she was able to put letters together and read. But she didn’t know how to write. So, I taught her to write her name and address. She picked up very fast.”

Rehna said she taught Kuttiyamma and six other students for about two months prior to the examination.
Kuttiyamma, she said, is very active and could move around the house on her own without anyone’s help. “However, she is a bit hard of hearing and her eyesight is weak during the night,” she added.

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