Social Scientist. v 4, no. 44 (March 1976) p. 28.

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Education and Socio-economic Change in Kerala, 1793-1947

IN THIS article an attempt is made to review the course of educational expansion and its inter-relationship with other socio-economic changes in Kerala during 1793-1947, which is the modern period (conterminous with the British period) of the history of the region. In contrast to the tardy growth of education elsewhere in the country, Kerala experienced a continuous process of educational expansion throughout the whole span, and at an increasing rate from the second half of the nineteenth century, the expansion during the latter phase being confined mainly to the southern regions of Travancore and Cochin.1 The insights gained by an enquiry into the types of socio-economic factors which favoured, and the socio-economic changes which followed^ educational development in Kerala are likely to be of help for regions of the world with low levels of development in the formulation of their educational and economic policies.

Owing to the paucity of data and the numerous gaps in available information, the following discussion is at best only a first attempt to formulate a few hypotheses which may be of relevance for further studies of the problem in more detail. The discussion is divided into two parts: the factors accounting for educational growth are discussed in the first, and the evolution of the education system and its impact on society in the second.

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