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State Educational Scenario - Genesis
Modern Education in the former Travancore State began with the Proclamation of 1844 by the Maharaja of Travancore that those educated in English school would be given preference in Public Service. Government established the Raja's Free School at Thiruvananthapuram as early as 1834 and it was the first school to import English education in the former Travancore State.

In the former Cochin State, the Govt. come in to the field 'of education in 1818 with the Proclamation, by which there established 33 Vernacular schools. The study of English language was helped by the missionary Rev. Dawson who opened an English school at Mattancherry in 1818. Thereafter, English schools were opened at Thrissur, Thrippunithura and Ernakulam. In 1868, the first batch was presented for the Matriculation examination.

In Malabar area, the Local Boards Act of 1834 helped the establishment of schools. Later, the Elementary Education Act enabled the establishment of several 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.

The progressive educational policies of enlightened rulers of the erstwhile states of Travancore and Cochin and the educational activities initiated by the Christian Missionaries and other social organizations yielded remarkable development in the field of education in the State even before Independence.

The Private Secondary School Scheme was introduced in Travancore-Cochin from 1st December 1951 onwards. Payment to the teachers of private schools was made direct from the treasury from that date. Payment to non-teaching staff of private schools was made by management till 31st June 1959.

The Kerala Education Act and Kerala Education Rules come in to force with effect from 1st June 1959. The post of the Director of Public Instruction was included in IAS cadre from the year 1960-61. The Examination Section which was functioned as port of the Directorate of Public Instruction, was separated and Commissionerate of Govt. Examinations (Pareeksha Bhavan) was started with effect from 1st Oct. 1964 under the Directorate of Public Instruction. The Director of Public Instruction has been continuing as the Commissioner for Govt. Examinations since 1964.

During the year 1956-57 there were 10,079 institutions under the Education deportment in the Kerala State. These consisted of 17 Arts and Science colleges in the Cochin and Malabar areas, two training colleges at Thrissur and Kozhikode, one post graduate training college at Thrissur, one Physical education college at Thiruvananthapuram, 762 High school, 1589 Middle schools, 6699 Primary schools, 87 Training schools, 7 Music and Fine arts schools, 5 schools for the physically handicapped, 33 Fisheries schools, 13 Nursery and Kinter Garten schools, 6 Technical schools, 2 Certified schools, 460 Basic schools, 32 Social Education Centers and 363 other special schools. Of these, 2129 were Govt. institutions and the remaining 7950 were under private management.

At present, there are 12271 Schools consisting of 6712 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). In addition to these, there are 102 Teachers Training Institutes, 43 Special Schools for the handicapped children and 8 Anglo Indian High Schools.

During the year 1956-57, the enrolment of students was 2709271. It increased steadily and reached a maximum of 5901101 in 1990-91. There onwards the trend was reversed. The present enrolment is 4881585. The percentage of women to the total number of teachers significantly increased during the last five decades. It was 41% in 1956-57,50% in 1976-77 and 68% in 2002-03. There is a slight decrease in the drop out rate during the last 5 years, which is an encouraging feature.

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.

Youth festival is a colorful program conducted by the Education Department to promote the extra curricular activities of school children in the State. It is the biggest of its kind in Asia. The first State Youth festival held in January 1957. Sports and Physical education form an integral part of education in the state. Two Sports schools are functioning in the State under the General Education Department in order to promote physical and mental health of pupils.

There is a Text Books Branch, which is responsible for arranging the printing, distribution, and the sale of all Textbooks, Teachers Hand books and Workbooks etc. under the Director of Public Instruction.
In accordance with the National Policy of Education (1986), District Institute of Education and Training (DIETs) were established In 14 districts of the State. The main function of DIETs is to provide academic and resource support at district level for the success of various program being undertaken in the field of primary and adult education.

The Vocational Higher Secondary Education was introduced In the State during 1983-84. It is designed to prepare skilled work force in the middle level in one or more group of occupations, trade or job after matriculation at 10+2 stage of Education. The objective of the course is to enhance individual employability to provide an alternative for those pursuing higher education without particular Interest or purpose.

Consistent with the National Policy of Education (1986), Government have decided to de-link Pre degree Courses from Colleges in a phased manner and to Introduce 10+2 system in High schools of Kerala. Accordingly, Higher Secondary Course was introduced during the year 1990-91 as a step for reorganizing the secondary and collegiate education. The above two courses are functioning in High Schools by upgrading the classes, but the Administrative control is vested with separate Directorates.
The District Primary Education Program (DPEP) introduced in the State during 1994-95 was discontinued and a new scheme - Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) has now been started to universalize Elementary education by community ownership of the school system.

The State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) was established in the year 1994 as an autonomous organization by reorganizing the State Institute of Education (SlE) to provide academic support to General Education in the State. The Director of SCERT is the head of the Organization. It has a general body with the Hon'ble Minister for Education as chairman. A governing body with Secretary to Govt.(Gen.Edn) as Chairman and the Director of Public Instruction as Vice-Chairman supervises the functioning of SCERT.

In brief, there were enormous expansion of educational facilities in the State since Independence. The development of Education over the years was tremendous.
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