Education in Kerala – An Introduction
Kerala – popularly known as -God’s Own Country is located in the southwestern part
of the country on the Malabar Coast. Celebrated as the spice coast, it has a rich
historical past and played host to Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch,
French and the British who have left their imprint on this land in some form or
the other. Kerala is one of the most progressive states in terms of social welfare
and quality of life. As per 2011 census the population of Kerala was 33.41 million,
of which the male population was 16.03 million and female population was 17.39 million.
The literacy rate of Karnataka was 94%, of which the male literacy is 96.11% and
female literacy is 100.76%. The sex ratio of Karnataka was 1084 females per 1000
males, which in itself is a unique feat for a country like India.
School Education in Kerala
The importance of education in Kerala can be gauged from the fact that the state
is the most literate amongst the others in the country. Schools in Kerala are divided
into three parts – Lower Primary from class I to IV, Upper Primary from class V
to VII, Secondary from VIII to X, and Senior Secondary from XI to XII. There are
6,817 Lower Primary schools, 3,037 Upper Primary schools, 2,608 Secondary schools
and 1,267 Higher Secondary schools in Kerala. Apart from the primary schools there
are pre-primary institutions which include “Aanganwadis”. The education department
of the state gives special attention to the primary education. Girls outnumber boys
in all classes comprising 49.23% of total student’s enrolment in schools. Educational
institutions in Kerala are run either by the Government, private trusts and individuals.
The Schools in Kerala are affiliated to Indian Certificate of Secondary Education,
the Central Board of Secondary Education and the Kerala State Education Board. Though
both English and Malayalam are offered as medium of instructions by the state run
schools, most of the private schools adopt English as their language of teaching.
After completing the secondary education that involves 10 years of schooling, students
usually enroll in higher secondary education in any one of the three disciplines
– Science, Commerce and Humanities.
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Higher Education in Kerala
On the introduction of the new education policy by the state government, which enabled
private colleges on Self-Financing basis, a number of colleges offering professional
education commenced throughout the state. Admission to most of these colleges is
based on marks obtained in the entrance examinations. Self-Financing colleges offer
50% seats on merit basis and the rest in management quota. Kerala has 9 medical
colleges, 11 pharmacy colleges, 9, dental colleges, 5 homeo colleges, 77 engineering
colleges, 31 nursing colleges, 121 poly technics, 10 ayurveda colleges, 9 agricultural
colleges, 7 food craft institutes, 7 universities, 2 deemed universities and 224
degree colleges. Universities in Kerala have now shifted the emphasis from conventional
courses to professional and technical job oriented courses while giving sanction
to new courses. The role of government in higher education is limited to the number
of colleges which are financially supported by it whereas the role of private sector
educational institutions has increased substantially. There are many technical and
research related institutions in the state for aspiring students as well. Infrastructure
prevails for industry interface and employment.
Education in Kerala – Future
Needless to say, with all indicators speaking for themselves Kerala is ideally an
aspiring student’s educational paradise.