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History of Education in Kerala

Updated on: Apr 3, 2013
A discussion about Kerala education scenario brings forth the question, about the growth and development of the education profile of Kerala. Modern Education in Kerala started several decades back with the declaration of the Maharaja of Travancore in 1844 that ‘those trained in English School would be given preference in Public Services’. Raja’s Free School was established by Government in 1834 to provide English Education. In the erstwhile Cochin State 33 Vernacular schools were established in 1818. The English education taken care by Rev. Dawson, he opened English school at Mattancherry in 1818. Later more number of English Schools opened at Thrissur, Thrippunithura and Ernakulam. In 1868, the first batch was presented for the Matriculation examination.

Legal Matters

In Malabar Region ‘The Local Board Act 1834’ helped in establishing many number of schools; the Elementary Education Act provided for opening up of many elementary schools and grant-in-aid was paid to Private schools by the District Educational Councils. From 1939 onwards the disbursement of grant-in-aid to private schools was done by the District Educational Officers. From 1 December 1951 the Private Secondary School Scheme was introduced in Travancore-Cochin. The Kerala Education Act and Kerala Education Rules come into force with effect from 1 June 1959. During the year 1956 – 57 there were 10,079 institutions under the Education deportment. Now, there are 12271 Schools consists of 6712l L.P. Schools, 2951 U.P Schools and 2608 High Schools in the State. Of these, 4492 are Government Schools (2551 LP, 957 UP and 984 HS), 7282 are Private aided Schools (4003 LP, 1870 UP and 1409 HS) and 497 are Private Unaided Schools (158 LP.124 UP and 215 HS).

Modern Scenario

There are 102 Teachers Training Institutes, 43 Special Schools for the handicapped children and 8 Anglo Indian High Schools. Kerala is the most literate State in India. As per 2001 Census, the effective literacy rate was 90.92% while it was 89.81% in 1991, 78.85% in 1981, 69.75% in 1971 and 55.08% in 1961.

Schools and colleges in Kerala are either run by the government or by private trusts and individuals. The schools in Kerala are either affiliated with the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), or the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE), or the Kerala State Education Board. English is the medium of instruction in most private schools; though government run schools offer both English and Malayalam as language of instruction. After completing secondary education, which involves ten years of schooling, students typically enroll at Higher Secondary School in one of the three streams—liberal arts, commerce or science. Upon completing the required coursework, the student can enroll in general or professional degree programs.

Under the National Education Policy 1986, Kerala has got District Institute of Education and Trainings (DIETs) for the training of teachers. The Vocational Higher Secondary Education was introduced in the State during 1983-84. Higher Secondary Course in Kerala was introduced in the state in academic year 1990 - 91.

Kerala has many renowned institutions for providing higher education and training. Some of these institutions are - Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode, National Institute of Technology Trichy, Cochin University of Science and Technology, and University of Kerala.
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