Education in Andaman and Nicobar Islands – An Introduction
Andaman and Nicobar are a group of islands located far from the mainland amidst the serene and tranquil waters of the Bay of Bengal. It is a tourist’s paradise and has a long and chequered historical legacy. The economy of the islands is mainly tourist centric; nearly 1.95 lakh tourists visited the island in 2011 recording a growth of 25.5% over the previous year. An average 4.5% growth rate in tourist traffic is predicted till the year 2022.The official language is English and Hindi, besides there are seven other languages that are spoken there.
The place has a limited scope of higher education but offers quality education. This has been proved by the census figures of 2011 wherein the literacy rate of the island is 86.27%, which is much higher than the national average of 81.30%. The remarkable feature is that the literacy rate in 1961 was 33.69%. The difference between the male and female literacy rates are less than 8.50%. This has been made possible by the stringent adherence to the national education policy and due to the maintenance of strict standards by the primary and the secondary schools, besides the other educational institutions. A few Ashram schools have also radically contributed to the literacy growth by setting up institutions in tribal areas, who considered formal education to be a taboo. One of the main contributors of literacy enhancement has been the settlement of the migrant literate trading communities form the mainland. They have been the main motivators for triggering the increase in the literacy rate
of the island.
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School Education in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The government machinery is striving very hard to impart quality education and the results are evident by the census statistics. Nine languages namely Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Malayalam, Urdu, Nicobari and Sanskrit are used as a medium of instruction. The island has more than 400 educational institutions. There are a few government run arts and science colleges, a teachers training institute, an industrial training institute and a couple of polytechnics to impart technical education to the students. The first nursing colleges on the island started in 2001. The earlier affiliation of the colleges located on the island were to Rangoon and Calcutta Universities. By the dint of its being a union territory the government colleges are under the direct control of the directorate of education in the region. There being no university in the area and the affiliation of every government college changed with time.
Today higher secondary education mode is affiliated to The Central Board of Secondary Education, whereas the other higher education institutions have affiliations to Pondicherry University, All India Council of Technical Education, Madras University and Maharashtra State Board of Technical Education. The Sikkim Manipal University and Indira Gandhi National Open University impart knowledge through distance education mode. Students who wish to pursue higher studies have to go to the mainland for the same.
Higher Education in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The Jawaharlal Nehru Rajkeeya Mahavidyalaya established in 1967 in Port Blair is the most prestigious and sought after Government College in Andaman and Nicobar islands. With a student strength of 850 and faculty strength of 40 it offers graduate and undergraduate courses. This college boasts of an alumni association which is placed in many prestigious positions in organisations both in India and abroad.
Education in Andaman and Nicobar Islands – Future.
It is unthinkable of a state without a university having literacy rate higher than the national average, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands have scored on that account. It is highly commendable and indeed a matter of great pride for every resident of that island state.