Kerala | Kerala Education

‘If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn’t need motivation to speed him up. What he needs is education to turn him around’. From the very early stages of human life the idea of passing on information to the coming generations in order to help them live better has been in existence. It was only gradually, with the structured settlement into different societies that education as a mass media was formed. All religions speak of the teachings of those who established the belief thereby marking the distinction between the teacher and the taught. If there has been one system that persevered through the aeons of man’s existence on this planet, it can be the one of education. In the ancient Indian Gurukula system education was restricted to the fortunate few. This was so all over the world. From that we have today come to the stage where education for all is considered as a fundamental right in most countries. Even then there are vast sections of the world population who are still denied this. Like food, shelter and cloth, education must also reach everyone in the world. Innumerable are the world organizations that work for it - yet much more remains to be done. The world has become one unit as far as education is concerned. Classes are no longer restricted to the class rooms. Instead it is ‘anywhere’ and ‘any time’. As we speak of the Global Village, we can also speak of the Global Classroom. The principle goal of education today is to create people who are capable of doing new things. The technology involved in the field of acquisition of knowledge has led to education being classified as a commodity or service under the general Agreement on Trade and Tariff (GATT) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). UNESCO has contributed much to the modern trend in education by strengthening higher education as common good at the global level by promoting pluralism and diversity, equitable access and sharing of knowledge. The world has come to realize that the educational system has to be about sustainable development, economic solidarity and environmental protection along with individual development. As Nelson Mandela has remarked, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’.
Education in India Today
Since we achieved independence in 1947, our national leaders attached importance to education. There has been steady effort to spread education to all levels of Indian society. At the time of our Independence, majority of the children were deprived of the benefits of primary education. Since then, India has made good progress in the field of primary education. To strengthen the Indian Education System, an educational policy was adopted by the Indian Parliament in 1968. Education was made an important and integral part of the national development efforts. Education occurs in many forms for many purposes through many institutions. Examples include early childhood education, kindergarten through to 12th grade, two and four year colleges or universities, graduate and professional education, adult education and job training. Therefore, education policy can directly affect the education people engage in at all ages. The actual quantity of schooling that children experienced and the quality of teaching they received were extremely insufficient in government schools. A common feature in all government schools was the poor quality of education, with weak infrastructure and inadequate pedagogic attention. This prompted the governments at the Centre and the different states to revamp the system so that high quality education is available to all children . Statistics point to the fact that a large percentage of children in age group 6-11 years have been enrolled in school. At some places, the enrollment rate is 90 percent. However, it is proving very difficult to bring the remaining into the ambit of universal primary education is because of reasons such as people living in inaccessible areas, lack of parent’s interest in sending their children to school, a deep-rooted prejudice against educating girls in some parts of the country.
Secondary Education System
Secondary education is the fulcrum of a nation’s education system. With regard to the pattern of secondary education experiments have been going on since Independence. The 10+2+3 system of education which was recommended by Kothari Commission of 1965 is now being implemented in almost all the States and Union Territories of India. This system provides for two streams - the higher secondary schools; the academic streams paving the way for higher education and the vocational stream of terminal nature. However, very few schools have been able to offer this terminal education. As a result, schools with academic streams still abound, thereby defeating the very purpose of reducing the acute competition for college education. So India needs to revamp the primary and secondary education also to connect better with the high class quality that will be available in the higher educational sphere. The first priority should be given to quality and relevance of the curriculum taught here. Absenteeism, drop out and lack of qualified teachers have to be remedied. There should be better levels of co-ordination between the levels of teaching and the availability of teaching aids and materials. The learning levels of the individual student must be monitored. There should be consistency between the skills taught in the primary and secondary levels and the requirements of the institutions for higher education. There should also be consistency between these skills and the needs of the economy. The acquisition of knowledge is no longer an end in itself; it has to lead the individual to a successful career. This fundamental change in the educational perspective has moved the seats of learning from the exclusive domain of the government. With liberalization in almost every aspect of life, education has also shown a definite tendency to be more a private enterprise. This has naturally led to competition and thus the educational field has undergone a qualitative change. Along with this has come the phenomenon of removing education from the cloistered class rooms and making it available to anyone, anywhere at any time. The principle goal of education is to create men and women who are capable of doing new things. It is a natural phenomenon with the job market becoming global in structure.The needs of the government, the public sector and the private sector have to be continuously evaluated and changes in curriculum should be ensured well in advance to meet the special requirements at the right time. The government should play a strong and significant role in setting educational standards and regulations, improving and monitoring the quality of academic programmes, and coordinating the whole spectrum of education which includes innumerable players at various levels. India runs the third largest higher educational system. If India is to be among the group of developed countries, it must provide access to higher education and technological skill for at least 20% of the relevant age group by the year 2020. The tremendous increase in the number of students and of educational institutions has given rise to the term ‘education explosion’. No doubt, this has resulted in serious problems such as inadequacy of financial resources and infrastructure and dilution of personal attention to the education and character-formation of the students. Also, there is the unwanted side-effect of enormous increase in the number of educated unemployed. However, we cannot overlook the advantages of education explosion in India. Mere increase in the percentage of literate people does not indicate a qualitative change in the educational standards of the people and a real improvement in manpower resources of India. Unemployment problem in India cannot be blamed on the availability of large masses educational people in India. But even now the country is able to provide the third greatest pool of skilled man power. The mainstays of the public universities are the arts, science and commerce courses. There is also a decline in enrolment in pure sciences and a rise in management courses. But the Government has many schemes to attract students to the pure science courses by offering scholarships and many incentives in employment. In the Southern and Western states of India, many minority groups set up private colleges to accommodate students who already had the tradition of English medium education at the secondary level and who could financially afford the professional education but failed to get admission in the public universities on the basis of merit and open competition. The public institutions are at a disadvantage as they are unable to cater to the short term market needs in terms of courses of study like the private institutions. There are more than 17000 colleges, 40 Central Universities under the Ministry of Human Resources Development and 5 that are not under the Ministry, 329 State Universities, 207 Private Universities and a number of Deemed Universities under the University Grants commission. There are also 73 Institutions of National Importance. Apart from these are the many private institutions that provide courses leading to Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and Post graduate Degrees. There are a host of famous institutes like the chain of Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), and its School of social Sciences, the National Law University and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. The unique system of Ayurveda and Sanskrit education which are unavailable anywhere else also makes India a favored destination of students interested in these.
Privatization of Educational Institutions
The Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization policy of the 90s gave an impetus for large scale private participation in the area of higher education. The scope for investment in private education is growing as there are a large percentage of people under the age of 30 and a burgeoning middle class that is ready to invest for quality higher education. According to the survey conducted by FICCI and Ernest and young, 91% of the Engineering Schools, 95% of Pharmacy, 64% in Business Management and 50% of medical schools in India are non- governmental. Higher education worldwide and its future direction are neither simple nor straightforward topics. In higher education, where we are so often bound by the constraints of national thinking, a comparative perspective is especially valuable because academic institutions worldwide stem from common traditions, and the issues facing higher education around the world have many common characteristics. India has more than 31000 institutes which make it the largest provider of higher education. This has resulted in universities from countries like the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Singapore collaborating with the private sector in education in India. The largest in this sector is in the Engineering section followed by Hotel Management. The Indian universities also attract large numbers of students from outside the country. The affordability, lower cost of living and the large English speaking population attract more students here. The Indian diaspora also prefer to have their children educated in India as it is cost effective and keep the children in touch with the tradition and culture of their motherland. Thousands of students join the private institutions as they either fail to get into the very few governmental institutes or are unable to get the subject of their choice. The Government of India has decided to allow foreign universities to set up campuses in India. Experts in the field also believe that it would be beneficial for the country if a strategy to partner with prestigious universities abroad is developed to pursue collaboration for faculty development and research enhancement. In the years to come India is sure to develop into a trusted international educational destination. Partnership between Indian and foreign universities will help attract and retain high quality staff. Studying in these institutions will ensure the students of receiving internationally recognized credentials. Collaboration between the universities and the industry will ensure consistency between research and the needs of the economy. Various international scholarships are available for students who come to India. They are available in various streams from the graduate level to the doctoral level. Most of these scholarships are given to those brilliant students who may have had to give up their studies and research due to financial constraints. There are also many fellowships available for those who are interested in research. Some fellowships are also meant to promote cultural interaction among students from different countries.
Student is the Master
Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference. There is an ever increasing demand for higher levels of knowledge and technical skill. The availability of such training was much below demand under the old system. Hence more institutions have to be equipped to meet the growing demand of the students for specific choices. Through innovation and experiments many private institutions have been catering to their demand. The strength of this system lies in its diversity - providing quality education for the elite, vocational training for the job seeker and a general education for those who may not have the merit or the means. In Asian countries like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Taipei, Indonesia and the Philippines, private institutions have been in the fore front in the educational field for a long time. They cater to more than 80% of the students. The trend is spreading to China, Vietnam and Cambodia, with China boasting of more than 1200 such institutions. The Chinese government supports these institutions by merging, dismantling and changing them to suit the national need. The change is visible in Russia also. Malaysia has more than 700 private colleges and universities and four foreign university campuses. The government there has plans to attract more students to these institutions from all over the world and convert Malaysia into an educational hub. In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia has two private universities and 36 colleges. The system of education has become so vast, diverse and ever - changing those individuals and institutions with the requisite ability and vision have to put in their effort to provide education for all. Hence there has been a rapid growth in institutes of higher education in the private sector. In Latin America, apart from the old universities set up by the Catholic Church, new, profit-making educational institutions are coming up. Argentina has given provisional permission for a few private educational institutions. In Canada public institutions are looking for links with private organizations. As a result of this we see the traditional public institutions struggling for funds while the private, profit-making institutions are getting huge funding from the market. This trend is not likely to change. The success of the private educational institutions offering specialized training in management, technology, education etc. depends on the high quality of training and the world wide acceptance of the degrees they bestow. Many global firms enter into contracts with universities to be ensured of quality man power for their technological and other requirements. Their aim also includes the distribution of their knowledge-based products. Science Parks established on a public-private partnership basis have been giving a good boost to research activities. Many emerging high tech firms in China and other ASEAN countries have been making use of the services of such Science Parks in Singapore, Japan and Taipei. India has shown remarkable innovation in the field of education. Breaking the traditional concept of education for a select few elite, the government has gone all out to make basic education mandatory and higher education available to all those who aspire for it. This has made India the third largest in higher educational system in the world and also the third largest pool of skilled manpower. But even this is not enough to accommodate a large percentage of India’s youth. The Government, with the able support of the private sector has to provide much more in increasing the availability of educational infrastructure here.
Knowledge on Demand
“Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference” - Jane Goodall. There is an ever increasing demand for higher levels of knowledge and technical skill. The availability of such training was much below demand under the old system. Hence more institutions have to be equipped to meet the growing demand of the students for specific choices. Through innovation and experiments many private institutions have been catering to their demand. The strength of this system lies in its diversity - providing quality education for the elite, vocational training for the job seeker and a general education for those who may not have the merit or the means. In Asian countries like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Taipei, Indonesia and the Philippines, private institutions have been in the fore front in the educational field for a long time. They cater to more than 80% of the students. The trend is spreading to China, Vietnam and Cambodia, with China boasting of more than 1200 such institutions. The Chinese government supports these institutions by merging, dismantling and changing them to suit the national need. The change is visible in Russia also. Malaysia has more than 700 private colleges and universities and four foreign university campuses. The government there has plans to attract more students to these institutions from all over the world and convert Malaysia into an educational hub. In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia has two private universities and 36 colleges.
Non-formal Education
Since, education is important for the growth of developing nation like India, various steps have been devised to cut the percentage of dropouts. Non-formal education to offer educational facilities for the drop-outs and to fulfill the desire for additional education in the grown-up-drop-outs is being given a new orientation to make it purposeful and to attract a broad spectrum of the drop-out population. In Indian Education system, adult education programmes covers the age group 1-35 and has been vigorously implemented by the government with the cooperation of many voluntary agencies. Even then much has to be done to realize the target which is 100% coverage adults. India is the process of initiating and developing a system of lifelong learning, which encompasses learning from early childhood through retirement and includes formal learning, non-formal learning and informal learning. In the lifelong learning model, people are motivated to learn on a continuing basis, are equipped with the skills to engage in self-directed learning, given access to opportunities for learning throughout their lives, and offered financial and cultural incentives to participate in lifelong learning. Innovative learning methods like the programmes for study online must also be encouraged. With a strong base in technology already available India can lead in the field of online, virtual and distance education. There are many public, private profit making and non-profit making institutions run by individuals, minorities, religious groups, and corporate bodies that cater to this mode of education. They can cater to the demand of the moment with less expenditure and no constraints on infrastructure, time and space that hamper the regular institutions. The Indira Gandhi National Open University is the chief player in this field serving the educational aspirations of over 3 million students in India and other countries through 21 schools of Studies and a network of 67 regional centers, around 2667 learner support centers and 29 overseas partner institutions.
Higher Education in Kerala
The state can boast of a glorious legacy in education even in the 14th and 15th centuries there were centers of higher learning in Kerala which, apart from the common subjects of study, offered courses in Vedic studies, astronomy and mathematics. Today Kerala has the distinction of being the most literate state in the country. It was also the first state to fulfill the constitutional mandate of providing universal, free, primary education to all the children up to the age of fourteen years. In 1991 Kerala became the first state to be declared as 100 per cent literate. In the field of High School education Kerala is ahead of all other states. Kerala provides free school education to all. There is near universal enrolment and the drop out level is low. More than 94% or the rural population has a primary school within a distance of one kilometer. 98% of the population is served by a school within the distance of two kilometers. A similar percentage of the population gets the benefit of an upper primary school within a distance of three kilometers. More than 98% of the population has secondary schools within a distance of 8 kilometers. The education scene in Kerala has always been dominated by private agencies. But today there is an increase in unaided schools and self-financing courses and institutions in the higher education and technical education sectors. Job oriented courses like nursing, medical, engineering and management are mostly run by the self-financing sector. Schools and colleges in Kerala are run by the government, private trusts as well as individuals. Schools are affiliated to the Kerala State Education Board, Central Board of Secondary Education, Indian Certificate of Secondary Education and the National Institute of Open Schooling. There are 3 Central Universities, 13 State Universities and 2 Deemed Universities in Kerala. Under the three bodies a large number of Arts and Science Colleges as well as Professional Colleges have been functioning well. The higher education in Kerala received a significant incentive with the clearance for the self-financing institutions which led to full - fledged private participation in the sector, till then, the private participation had been through private aided colleges which received public funds but were managed by private establishments mostly of the nature of voluntary or charitable trusts. There is a new trend of ‘non-formal’ educational institutions. They are run on a purely commercial basis and offer job-oriented courses. They are not affiliated to any University or government. Though there is no reliable estimate of such institutions and of the number of students who are enrolled in them, it can be clearly understood that their numbers are not small. The Arts and science colleges now also offer job-oriented courses. They are offered by the existing aided private colleges as well as the newly established self-financing colleges. The Higher education in Kerala is controlled by three bodies - the Department of Collegiate Education, The Kerala State Higher Education Council and the Co-operative Academy of Professional Education.
The Department of Collegiate Education: The main aim of the Department of Collegiate Education is to provide the best quality higher education to the eligible students of the State who complete their Higher Secondary level education. For this various graduate and post graduate level courses in various subjects are conducted in the colleges under the Department.
The Kerala State Higher Education Council: The Council consists of three bodies namely, Advisory Council, Governing Council and Executive council. The 33 member Advisory Council is a body consisting of the Chief Minister, Minister for Education, Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Minister for Law, Minister for Agriculture, representatives of the members of the Parliament from the State, members of the State legislature, members of three tier Panchayats, members of Municipalities, members of Corporations and eminent personalities from different walks of life. The Advisory Council will be responsible for giving guidance to the Council and to evaluate and suggest corrective measures to ensure the proper functioning of the Council. The Governing Council is a high power body chaired by the Minister for Education is responsible for taking final decision on all policy matters on behalf of the Council while the Executive Council chaired by the Vice-Chairman of the Council is responsible for the day to day functioning of the Council. The Council’s main responsibilities are to render advice to the Government, Universities and other institutions of higher education in the State, to coordinate the roles of the Government, Universities and apex regulatory agencies in higher education within the State to evolve new concepts and programmes in higher education and to provide common facilities in higher education.
Co-operative Academy of Professional Education: The establishment of our first institution was in the year 1999-2000 followed by five Engineering colleges and a Medical college in 2000-2001. The first institution started was College of Engineering, Vadakara(Formerly Co-operative Institute of Technology Vadakara), the others were College of Engineering, Perumon, College of Engineering, Trikaripur, College of Engineering, Thalassery, College of Engineering, Kidangoor, Cochin Medical College(Formerly Co-operative Medical College Kochi). The College of Engineering & Management Punnapra was started during the academic year 2008 at Punnapra in Alleppey district. The College of Engineering, Muttathara being started during the academic year 2016 in Thiruvananthapuram district. All the Engineering colleges are affiliated to A.P.J. Abdul KalamTechnological University.
Make the Right Choice
‘Stand up, be bold, be strong. Take the whole responsibility on your own shoulders, and know that you are the creator of your own destiny. All the strength and succor you want is within yourself. Therefore make your own future’. This advice given by Swami Vivekananda to the youngsters must be the guide in making the right choice of your life in education. Here are some of the coveted courses and the canters that are available to help students achieve their aim.
Indian Civil Services: Many students still look forward to the civil Service as the first choice of a brilliant mind. It may be because of the dignity, power and status attached to the job. The most prestigious opening for an Indian student after his graduation is to enter Indian civil service through one of the toughest and challenging competitive examinations and interviews. The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is a nationwide competitive examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment to the various Civil Services of the Government of India, including Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS), Indian Forest Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Revenue Service (IRS) among others. The examination is conducted in two phases - the Preliminary examination, consisting of two objective-type papers (General Studies and Aptitude Test), and the Main examination, consisting of nine papers of conventional (essay) type followed by the Personality Test (Interview). In the preliminary examination, the number of candidate selected for the mains is 11 or 12 times the number of vacancies and in case of the main examination, the number of candidates selected for the interview is twice the number of vacancies. To secure a place in the highly sought after Indian Administrative Service (IAS), a candidate must secure a rank in the top 70.
Technical Education: Technical Education in Kerala is controlled by the Department of Technical Education, Government of Kerala. Now there are 12 Engineering Colleges, 49 Polytechnic Colleges, 3 Colleges of Fine Arts, 39 Technical High Schools, 17 Govt. Commercial Institutes, 42 tailoring and Garment Making Training Centers and 4 Vocational Training Centers under the Department. Technical education contributes substantially to the Socio Economic development of the country as a whole. The development sustenance of the industrial sector is entirely dependent upon the availability of trained manpower to perform the multidimensional activities needed to keep the wheel of industry running. The Technical Education Department aims at making available these trained technically qualified hands to serve the industry and society. For obtaining a Degree in Engineering (B.Tech) and M.Tech there are 14 Government Colleges, 24 Government Sponsored Self-financing Colleges, and 120 Private self-financing Colleges.
Ship Technology: The Department of Ship technology of the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) is one of the pioneers in the field of Naval Architecture education in this country and was established with an aim to create a new and dynamic generation of Naval Architects to meet the requirements of the Indian Shipbuilding Industry, Ship Classification Societies, R&D organizations, Indian Navy and related organizations. This Department maintains active collaboration and interaction with IITs, foreign Universities, Shipyards and other industries. These organizations have been generous in extending their facilities and expertise to impart training to our students. The fruitful collaboration of this Department with Rostock University, Germany dates back to 1978 and remains as an important milestone in the development of this Department. The Ministry of Surface Transport, Government of India approved the B Tech Naval Architecture & Ship Building course of the CUSAT for the M.O.T. Certificate Examination, thus enabling the B Tech Graduates to venture into the field of Marine Engineering also. Yearly intake of the B. Tech programme in Naval Architecture and Ship Building course is 40 of which 12 is reserved for the personnel sponsored by Indian Navy. The quality of education imparted and the resulting professional competence of the graduates enabled the department to achieve a unique record of 100 percent placement on its graduates in India and abroad. The Department conducts an M Tech programme in Computer Aided Structural Analysis and Design (CASAD) and has Ph.D. programmes too.
Maritime Courses: Kerala is also a major hub of maritime education with a number of big and small institutes and academies offering a variety of maritime courses. There is an ever increasing demand for maritime professionals on account of the boom in maritime trade and shipping business. The courses offered by these establishments are mainly 4-year B-tech Marine Engineering, Diploma in Nautical Science, PRE SEA GP Rating Course, Certificate Course in Maritime Catering, RANSCO (Radar ARPA & Navigation Simulation Course), OTF (Oil Tanker Familiarization), TASCO (Special training Programme in Oil Tanker Operations) and MCC (Medical Care Course) Courses for marine Engineers.
Merchant Navy: Merchant Navy is one field that offers a variety of lucrative but challenging job opportunities. The openings range from the post of ship’ captain to chief engineer, radio officer and deck hands. The courses available are in general BE Marine Engineering, B.Sc. Nautical Science, ME marine Engineering. Those who have passed 12th with Physics Chemistry and Mathematics can directly join merchant navy as deck hand after basic pre sea training and those who have passed a bachelors degree course in engineering can also directly join as engine cadet or fifth engineer or junior engineer. Openings for fresh hands are mainly, deck officers, junior engineers, electrical officers in both domestic and international shipping lines. The courses are being offered by both private institutes and Ministry of Surface Transport.
Chartered Accountancy: With the advent of globalization and corporatization, the scope and role of Chartered Accountants have expanded much. Today’s chartered accountants are the backbone of every business and industry small or big. They could spell the fortunes of the business with their prudent advice and guidance. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India established by a parliamentary act in 1949 is the regulatory body of the education and practice of Chartered Accountancy in India. CA is a three level course comprising Common Proficiency Test (CPT), Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC) and the Final Course. This is one course that offers immense job opportunities both home and abroad with sumptuous remuneration.
Company Secretary: The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) which is a statutory professional body is the one that controls the profession of Company Secretaries in India. ICSI also offers distance education to those who aspire to choose this as a career. The three level courses comprise Foundation Programme, Executive Programme and Professional Programme. Besides there is a mandatory 15 months training programme after passing the Executive programme. The students should also undergo practical and Management Training after completing the three levels. Opportunities with good remuneration are galore for those who choose this profession both in India and abroad.
Cost and Works Accountancy: The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India controls the education and practice of this stream. Three levels of examination, Foundation, Intermediate and Final, have to be taken for qualifying as an accountant here. Opportunities exist in large numbers in industry and business.
Medical Education: Kerala boasts of the best health statistics in India comparable to those in the Western world and also of ‘quality care at low cost’. The main factor responsible for this is definitely the standard of medical education delivery system in the State. The doctors, paramedics and nurses passing out from the State’s medical colleges and related institutions have been performing excellently across the globe. The State’s Department of Medical Education plays a pivotal role in developing medical and Para-medical personnel to cater to the health needs of the State. The department also plays a role in establishment and maintenance of well-equipped teaching institutions, which are the premier referral centers with state-of-the-art equipment and technology. Research is another area of activity for Medical Education Department. Now there are 12 Government Medical Colleges and 21 Private self-financing Colleges in the State offering courses leading to MBBS as well as post graduate degrees.
Homoeopathy: Homoeopathy colleges in Kerala are another very important dimension of the education scenario in this state. The Kerala homeopathy colleges play a vital role in study and research of homeopathic discipline. Courses offered by the colleges are quite up to date according to the requirement of present job field. These are known for their advanced facilities and experienced faculty. Homeopathy Colleges in Kerala offer BHMS degree with four and half year duration with one year internship program. Students who aspire to join courses offered by these colleges have to sit for entrance test after their 10+2 level examination. The homeopathy colleges are affiliated to any one the three State universities namely Kerala, Mahatma Gandhi and Calicut. The Colleges are mainly located in Kottayam, Ernakulum and Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram districts. There are 5 Homeopathic and 1 Siddha College in the State.
Dentistry: Dental education in Kerala is widening its scope and upgrading its quality, thanks to the conscious initiatives of both the public and private sector. Gone are the days of practicing simple dentistry. Instead the spectrum of dental education and practice has widened to include a number of specialties like cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry and so on. Added importance is being given to postgraduate and research studies. According to a latest statistics in addition to those registered elsewhere over 2,700 dentists registered with the Kerala State Dental Council are practicing in the State, which has a population of around three crores. Now, the focus is on imposing quality control in the existing colleges and providing facilities for postgraduate studies and research. The opening up of the self-financing sector and enhancement of strength has created a world of opportunities for the students of dental education in Kerala to get better education in their home State. There are 4 Government Dental Colleges, 1 Government Sponsored self-financing College and 19 Private self- financing Colleges.
Ayurveda: Ayurveda means ‘knowledge of life’. It is the most ancient system of medicine of India. Kerala is one of the most popular states in Ayurveda education and Treatments. The vision for Directorate of Ayurveda Medical Education is to ‘enhance the importance of Ayurveda in world through Education’. Ayurvedic Education has of late gained added prominence due its global popularity as a safe and better healthcare alternative to allopathy. In 1889, an Ayurvedic Padasala was started in Thiruvananthapuram by His Highness SreeVishakamThirunal Maharaja. This was the first Ayurvedic Education institution in British India. The Ayurveda Padasala has been upgraded to Ayurveda College. Now 11 Self-financing colleges also functioning under DAME and each college have its own Hospitals. In Government Ayurveda Colleges are offering Specialty clinics to the people. Directorate Ayurveda Medical Education is conducting Post Graduate Courses, BAMS and also the Paramedical Courses like Ayurveda Nurse, Ayurveda Pharmacy and Ayurveda Therapist. For Ayurveda there are 5 government Colleges and 12 Private self - financing colleges in the State today.
Nursing Education: ‘Nurses are the backbone of our healthcare care system, providing us with the attention and medical care that we need to live health long-lasting lives.’ It is one of the most demanding careers of all times. Still shortage of nurses is felt all across the globe. Quality of nursing educations has become gone a long way over the years. The latest trend is the growing interest among boys to opt for nursing courses with the worldwide increase in demand for male nurses. Nursing courses are offered by both public sector and private sector and nursing schools that offer bachelors, masters besides general nursing courses for both men and women. Invariably each and every public and private medical colleges and hospitals have their own nursing schools offering several of nursing courses form general nursing to post graduate nursing courses. Indian nurses are in great demand in western as well as Middle East countries.
Paramedical Services: A host of paramedical courses are being offered by various Institutions across the country. These courses have become popular with the growth in health care institutions and specialized treatments. These courses involve specialized training in areas such as X-ray technology, medical laboratory technology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, ophthalmic technology, audiology, speech therapy and so on. Diploma, graduate and post graduate courses are being offered by specialized institutes.
Pharmaceutical Courses: Pharmaceutical courses are also fast becoming favorite among aspiring students, thanks to the growing job opportunities in the field. Pharmacists are meant to handle production, productive processes, quality control and testing of drugs besides looking after the dispensing of drugs in hospitals and pharmacies. Pharmaceutical courses range from two year diploma to three to four year graduate course and three year post graduation. The openings are in the drugs and pharmaceutical companies, Drugs research organizations, pharmaceutical stores and pharmaceutical sales as medical representatives. There are around 31 recognized schools of Pharmacy in Kerala.
Management Training: ‘People do what they have to do for a manager; they do their best for an inspirational leader’. Management Training leading to an MBA Degree or diploma has great demand among students who wish to make a career in the corporate world. The Indian Institute of Management (IIM) is the most prestigious training institute for management in the country and Kerala has one IIM at Kozhikode. All Universities in Kerala offer this course. Apart from that there are more than eighty institutions that cater to MBA aspirants.
Legal Studies: ‘Law is nothing else but the best reason of wise men applied for ages to the transactions and business of mankind’ recollected words of Abraham Lincoln. Legal practice is becoming more and more specialized today with the advent of globalization, liberalization and corporatization. Specialization in law offers highly lucrative openings and private practice. Mainly four typical law courses are available namely LLB, LLM, and LLD (Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate courses respectively). Many universities also offer diploma curses in several branches of law. Some of the specialized law related courses include IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) courses which mould advocates for protecting the inventions, discoveries and copyrights of their clients. Law is one of the most rewarding professions with tremendous opportunities to grow, depending on one’s skills and hard work. There are 4 Government Law Colleges as well as 16 Private Self-financing Law colleges in Kerala.
Geology: With corporate interest in mineral and hydrocarbon exploration growing, Geology, otherwise known as earth science is gaining more importance and popularity. Of late Geotechnical engineering courses are quite popular with evaluation of water resources, environmental problems and climate change has become a major focus of several national and international agencies. Graduate, Post Graduate course and Research opportunities are available in several universities. The subjects covered are mainly allied geology, bio geology, cartography, marine geology and remote sensing. Job opportunities are aplenty for geologists in mines, oil exploration companies, seismological meteorological departments and related consultancy firms and Governmental bodies like Geological Survey of India.
Environmental Courses: These are mainly science stream courses and the students can opt for a degree in Environmental Science or Environmental Engineering. The study covers mainly biological and physical environment, the impact of human activities on environment and ecosystems. At advanced levels the courses are inter disciplinary covering agriculture, biology, business, ecology, geography, law and management. Full time regular graduate and post graduate courses are available. Environmental Engineers can find openings at pollution control boards, International environmental agencies. Sectors like nuclear plants, water supply and sewerage systems and utility systems across the world need professional environmental engineers.
Agriculture: Agriculture is the backbone of an economy and today agriculture is no more the traditional one. On the other hand it has become more mechanized, scientific and sophisticated warranting specialized people for managing, planning and executing. Typical courses in the field are Bachelor of Science degree and Master’s Degree in agriculture, horticultures, forestry, dairy technology, food science and technology, agriculture marketing banking and co-operatives. The courses are offered mainly by specialized agriculture universities and colleges, Agriculture research institutes and some private agricultural institutes. There are good employment opportunities both at governmental level, corporates, agriculture universities and colleges, commodity boards etc. There are also growing opportunities such as landscape designing and beautification in real estate, tourism and hospitality sectors.
Fisheries Education: Schools and Research institutes are aplenty in Kerala which has a centuries old fishing tradition. In order to improve the standard of education of fisher folk, State Government Started ‘Fisheries School’ under Fisheries department. Now there are 10 Fisheries schools throughout Kerala under the control of Department of Fisheries. The headquarters of major Central Fisheries Research Institutes are situated at Kochi in Kerala. They are Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), Kochi, Central Institute for Fisheries Technology (CIFT), Kochi, Integrated Fisheries Project (IFP), Kochi, Central Institute for Fisheries Nautical Science and Engineering (CIFNET), Kochi, National Institute for Oceanography (NIO), Kochi, and National Physical Oceanography Laboratory (NPOL), Kochi. Besides these, two sub canters of CMFRI are also situated in Kerala, one at Vizhinjam, Trivandrum district and other at Kozhikode beach. Cochin University of Science and Technology has an exclusive marine science campus at Ernakulam, where postgraduate courses are conducted under various fields under fisheries science and related faculties. Kerala University also conducts a post graduate course in Aquatic biology and Fisheries. The course conducted under the Department of Aquatic Biology and Fisheries, Karyavattom (Trivandrum district) include doctoral and post-doctoral studies in Fisheries Science, aquaculture and the applications of Biotechnology in Fisheries and aquaculture. Many Colleges under Calicut University and MG University are conducting graduate and postgraduate level fishery courses. More over many institutes under private sectors offer a variety of many courses in relation to Nautical Sciences.
Forestry: The two main streams in this study are Forestry and Wood Science and Technology. The former covers areas like forest ecology, forest conservation, forest management, and economics while the latter covers from science of wood to mechanics of wood and the industrial dimensions of wood and timber. Four years graduate course is the entry point followed by post graduate course and specializations in subjects such as Commercial Forestry, Forest Economics, Wild Life Science and Wood Science. The Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM) Bhopal offers Forest Management courses. In Agriculture and Allied stream there is a Government Fisheries College, one Government Forestry College and 3 Government Agricultural Colleges.
Veterinary Science: With animal care and animal welfare, having assumed more importance than ever before, veterinary doctors and veterinary assistants are in good demand. There are mainly bachelor and masters programs in this field being offered mainly by specialized veterinary colleges. Veterinary science and animal husbandry courses with specializations in poultry science, dairy production, dairy science and technology, animal reproduction, genetics and food & fodder technology are now available across the country. Openings are available in state and central government departments and agencies, veterinary hospitals and clinics, dairy and poultry farms, zoological gardens, wildlife parks and related research establishments. There are 2 Government Veterinary Colleges in Kerala.
ITIs and Polytechnics: A number of courses are offered by Industrial Training Institutes and Polytechnics across the country for those who want to have technical qualification without joining an engineering college. They can enter for a degree course in engineering laterally after passing ITI or polytechnic courses. There are a number of courses offered by these institutions in subjects such as civil, mechanical, lift technician, marine filter, draughtsman, mason, painter etc. There are also a host of non-engineering courses in subjects like industrial safety management, health sanitary inspector, library science and housekeeping offered by ITIs. Polytechnics offer courses of a middle link between technicians and engineers. Typical courses offered by polytechnics are in subjects like Architecture, Civil engineering, Mechanical engineering, Chemical engineering, Electrical electronic and instrumentation engineering.
Fire Safety: With the booming of hazardous industries across the globe fire safety has assumed more importance than ever with the result that fire technicians are in great demand both in India and abroad. This has paved the way for mushrooming of a number of institutions offering fire safety courses. One can opt for fire safety or fire engineering courses after graduation. There are also certificate and diploma courses offered by private institutes and government institutions. The successful candidates can look forward to good openings in various industrial establishments and Government safety services.
Non-Engineering IT courses: More than ever, computer professionals, not necessarily computer engineers are in great demand thanks to the inroads computer has made into every human activity. As a result the non-engineering IT education is a preferred choice of millions. A lot of courses ranging from certificate and diploma to bachelors and masters are now being offered by universities, colleges, private institutes across the country and there is no dearth of candidates or opportunities. IT education generally falls into two categories- formal education offered by IITs, universities, affiliated colleges, autonomous colleges recognized and approved by governmental bodies like AICTE and UGC and non-formal courses offered by largely private establishments. Typical courses are BCA (Bachelor of Computer Applications), MCA (Master’s Degree), BCA-MCA integrated curses, Animation courses, Certificate courses in computer applications, and IT degree through distant education. The subjects covered are generally application software, hardware technology, networking, systems management, internet technology.
Photography: Photography is an evergreen career both in the freelancing and professional front. An amazing array of industries like media, film, advertisement, public relations and industry offers lucrative jobs for talented photographers. There are several institutes which offer photography courses in various specializations like digital photography, video photography, wild life photography, sports photography and industrial photography. Some Fine Arts colleges are also offering graduate courses in photography. A major trend is that of professional photographers setting up their own studios and undertaking freelance photographic jobs. Even corporates and government departments appoint their own photographers.
Physical Education and Sports: Physical education instructors are in great demand in both public and private sector. For example, Sports Authority of India, universities, colleges, schools, Indian Railways Banks etc. At the secondary school level physical education is an optional subject. At the University and College level Bachelor of Physical Education (BP Ed) courses in physical education colleges and B.Sc. courses in General Colleges are available. There are a number of physical education institutes like the Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical education Sport Sciences, New Delhi apart from several universities and colleges offering these courses.
Library Science: Managing a library warrants special skills and training. And today digital libraries are fast gaining importance expanding the scope and opportunities for those who pass library science courses. Even distance education is now available for library science. The courses range from certificate and diploma course to graduate and post graduate courses being offered by universities, colleges and private institutes. Those who pass these courses can look forward to openings in educational and research institutions, media etc.
Journalism: Journalism courses whether it is in print or electronic media is on a boom. It is today regarded as the most thrilling of all professions despite the fact that the monetarily it is not that much rewarding unless, you are exceptional. Apart from the traditional journalism courses there are a lot of specialized media and communications courses being offered not only by universities and colleges but also a host of private and semi-private organizations including press academies and press clubs. Even some of the leading newspapers and electronic media are running their own journalism schools. Many of those who pass out from these institutions migrate to media abroad after a temporary stint in India.
Foreign Languages: Qualification in foreign languages is a great asset for those who are looking forward to a career in tourism, airlines, travel industry, journalism, export - import trade, foreign services, visa department, shipping and many more. Three year post graduate and five year integrated language course are being offered by universities. There are universities and private institutes that offer diploma and certificate course in various foreign languages. Even some of the foreign embassies are offering foreign language courses. In the globalized scenario knowledge in foreign language can do wonders to one’s professional career.
Advertising: Advertising has emerged as a lucrative industry beckoning the best talents. In India, advertisements courses are offered at certificate, diploma, graduate and post graduate levels by private and public institutes, colleges and academies. Mainly two types of openings are available in advertising industry namely advertisement executive and creative hands. The former is mainly related to administration and marketing in an ad firm while the latter are related to creative jobs like copy writing. Most of the mass communication schools offer advertisement as an optional specialization.
Hotel Management and Tourism: Tourism and hospitality industry is one of the most thriving industries of contemporary era. The two industries have become more professional and world class requiring well trained manpower to manage and run them. There is a heavy shortage of manpower in this segment with the result that there is ready employment for those who are qualified in various segments of these two industries. Job opportunities are also galore abroad with handsome pay scales. Bachelors, masters, diploma and certificates courses are being offered by public and private college and institutes in various subjects relating to these sectors, like hotel administration, catering, guest service, human resource management, accounting, purchase and storekeeping Another segment in the tourism sector is airline customer service and cargo marketing. Distance education in hotel management and related areas is offered by the IGNOU.
Hospital Administration: Managing a hospital, clinic or nursing home has become specialized and complex warranting specially skilled and trained personnel to ensure their smooth operation. Hospital administrator should have multifaceted skills to handle areas like finance, human resources, equipment maintenance, waste disposal and resource planning. Several institutes as well as a few medical colleges and universities are offering Diploma, certificate and even MBA courses in hospital administration. Some agencies like Indian Society of Health Administrators are offering distance education in hospital administration. Those who choose this career have good opportunities in hospitals, nursing homes, and different type of healthcare centers across the country and even abroad.
Air Hostess Courses: The career of airhostess is a promising option for smart girls and women. This profession provides the exciting experience of flying, visiting different places and countries and interacting with so many people from different walks of life. The good pay package is another attraction. Eligibility for airhostess course generally are graduation or HSC (Plus Two) Airhostess training is not mandatory or essential to get into this profession. Self-preparation is needed. However, some institutes provide training to develop basic skills required for the profession. In Kerala most of the institutes are in the private sector located mainly in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi. With privatization and foreign collaborations increasing in the airline industry, demand for airhostesses will increase. Career as an airhostess will last for about 10 years, after that one can move on to ground duties, as ground hostess, check hostess, trainer of airhostesses and so on.
Pilot Training: Expensive, but challenging and lucrative is the job of a flight pilot. Those who aspire to become a commercial pilot have to first undergo a Student Pilot License (SPL) Course, Private Pilot License (PPL) course and Commercial Pilot License (CPL) course. Those who have passed plus two with 50% marks in physic and mathematics can apply for PPL course. To become a commercial pilot holder one should have 250 hours of flying experience and pass rigorous medical and communication skills tests. Lucrative openings await CPL holders in both public and private airlines as pilots, test pilots, flying instructors, flight engineers and so on.
Aviation Courses: Civil Aviation in India has progressed rapidly in the past few years and contributed a lot in the economic development of the country. The rapid expansion of civil aviation industry is due to globalization of trade, liberalization and upward mobility in large middle class of Indian population. Aircraft Maintenance Engineer is responsible for the maintenance and certification, overhaul of aircraft, aero engine, instruments, electrical and radio equipment and their accessories. Aircraft Maintenance Engineer issues the certificate of flight release which declares the aircraft airworthy and fit for flying. Aircraft Maintenance Engineer is the key person who is responsible for the upkeep of the aircraft maintenance and certification of the aircraft before flight. He or She will be the sole authority for issuing license to Aircraft Maintenance Engineers and Pilots in Civil Aviation in India. If a person possessing degree in any branch of Aeronautical Engineering desires to become an AME he or she should have AME license issued by DGCA ( Govt. of India ) for which he or she has to acquire practical work experience as stipulated in Civil Aviation Requirements and pass the AME license papers conducted by DGCA.
Film and Television: It is one of the best career opportunities for those who possess creative talents and communication skills and those who have the ability to work under stress, at odd hours and are willing to work as a team Film and television industry at home and abroad needs a lot of professionals and technicians for jobs like filing, editing and a host of post-production activities. The TV channels also require a large number of professionals in these areas. The scope is enlarging day by day with the technological advancements in film and television industry. Mushrooming of radio and TV channels has only expanded the openings in the field tremendously. Both graduate and post graduate courses are being offered by reputed film institutes, universities, colleges and private institutes in various subjects like choreography, animation, sound engineering, acting, editing and make up.
Public Relations: Public relations can be defined as a job of managing, planning and executing initiatives to enhance visibility and public relations of any organization or brand. Multiple course options ranging from degree to MBA in public relations are being offered by a host of private and public institutions including many universities and autonomous colleges. A good qualification and working experience in public relations lead to a highly rewarding career in many related fields including event management.