According to the NSO survey, the southern state is rated lowest in the country, below Bihar, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
T. Suguna Rao, a retired teacher from an aided school in West Godavari district in coastal AP neither agreed nor disagreed with NSO's estimation.
"It seems AP's literacy rate is 64 per cent," said Rao without commenting much but did not look convinced.
Echoing Rao, Bhimavaram resident Pradeep, an MSc fisheries graduate said he also cannot say much about this development. "I am not sure," said Pradeep.
But Rao's wife, T.D. Vakyamani, also a retired teacher from a government school said NSO's estimation could be correct.
AP's literacy rate for males is estimated to be 73.4 per cent and for females 59.5 per cent, a disparity of 13.9 percentage points between the genders.
Though rated lowest in overall literacy rate, the gap between men and women is not the worst and better than Rajasthan (23.2 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (18.4 per cent), Jharkhand (18.3 per cent) and others.
Sagnik Choudhary, a retail professional who studied in Hyderabad when Andhra Pradesh was united, is not convinced with literacy rate variance between men and women.
Irrespective of NSO adjudicating AP as the lowest literate state, several towns and a few cities in the state are major educational hubs, drawing thousands of students for studies.
Vijayawada, Guntur, Nellore, Bhimavaram, Kakinada, Vishakapatnam, Rajamundry, Kurnool and others are known for famous schools, intermediate junior colleges and several engineering colleges.
Some of the private schools such as Sri Chaitany and Naraya have expanded their branches all over the country, originating from the state.
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, both the Telugu states, send a sizeable number of students every year to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), premier technical schools in India.
AP is also known for a high number of students who migrate to the US for higher studies.
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