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Education has always been very important in the social milieu of Kerala and even in the pre independence era and still earlier when Kerala had dynastic rule, the importance of education never waned. Before the British Raj, there were Vedic schools called “Sabha-Mathams” that imparted knowledge of the Vedas. Villages had schools run by the Village elders and the teachers called “Ezhuthachans or Asans”.  The Christian Missionaries who arrived during the British Raj took over and they can be credited as pioneers in bringing modern school system as practiced in England to Kerala. Missionaries brought equality in education to the classes and both boys and girls alike.  It is no surprise therefore that Kerala ranks the highest in the literacy quotient of the country and is the topmost progressive state in education and the socio-economic scene that ensues.

Present day education in Kerala follows the same pattern that is followed in the rest of the country. The only difference is in the percentage of boys and girls who go to school and complete basic school education. Government, private educational trusts and individuals own and run schools with affiliation to the ICSE Board or CBSE Board, KSEB, NIOS and colleges that are affiliated to Universities. Majority of private schools have English as the medium of teaching whereas schools that are run by the Government teach in either English or Malayalam. Kannada or Tamil is the medium of teaching in districts that border Karnataka or Tamil Nadu. Sanskrit, the classical language is being kept alive by some Government Sanskrit Schools that teach in Sanskrit where Malayalam, English, Tamil or Kannada is also taught. The Secondary School Certificate is awarded after the 10th class, and the Higher Secondary Diploma after two more years in a Junior College or School is divided in 3 divisions or streams: liberal arts, commerce and science.

Education Hubs in Kerala


Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the state is a major academic hub and is a seat of the University of Kerala and has many colleges imparting professional education that include  engineering colleges, medical colleges in different systems of medicine such as Ayurveda, Allopathy and Homeopathy and also many  law colleges. Trivandrum Medical College is the leading institute of Kerala for healthcare and teaching that is equivalent to the premier health institute of the country;  All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi. Not to be left behind in the field of technical education, College of Engineering, Trivandrum is the leading engineering institution of Kerala. The Technopark in the State Capital has two fine management institutions ; The Asian School of Business and IIITM-K. The first institute to teach Space Sciences; The Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, is located here and another premiere institute; The Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram will be functional in a short time. The maximum number of educational institutions; school, colleges and institutes for vocational training in Kerala are in the district of Thiruvananthapuram.


Kochi is another important educational centre. In Kochi’s suburbs is the well known “Cochin University” or The Cochin University of Science and Technology. The Mahatma Gandhi University has affiliations from most degree colleges. Other national institutes in Kochi that impart specialized education include  Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training, National University of Advanced Legal Studies, National Institute of Oceanography, Central Institute of Fisheries Technology and Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute. Kerala Agricultural University at Panangad in the suburbs of Kochi.

Kalady in Ernakulam District has Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit (SSUS) also well known as the Sanskrit University. Village Pothanicad in  Ernakulam district has the distinction of being the first village panchayath that became fully literate in India.


Kozhikode another city known for higher education in Kerala boasts of two premier institutions of India; the IIMK, or Indian Institute of Management Kerala is among the 13 IIMs of the country, and NITC, the only National Institute of Technology in Kerala.

Kozhikode city is the home of Calicut University. The city and district has many medical, paramedical, law, and engineering colleges  of repute such as Calicut Medical College, , Government Homoeopathic Medical College, Government Law College, Government Engineering College Kozhikode, College of Nursing Calicut, Kerala School of Mathematics, Govt. Dental College, Co-Operative Institute of Technology and Govt. Polytechnic College.

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