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Education Profile of Lakshadweep

Updated on: Aug 30, 2013

In earlier days, education in Lakshadweep was confined to the teaching of the Koran and the elements of Islamic theology in schools attached to mosques. These schools were called madrasas and still function side by side with the modern schools established after 1956, when the islands were given Union Territory recognition.

The first government school in Lakshadweep was opened at Amini on 15th January 1904. It was compulsory for children to attend the mosque schools in the mornings. The government school functioned from noon to 4 p.m. The only subjects taught were Canarese, Malayalam and arithmetic in the schools at that time. Also, during those days, as the Amindivi group of islands was under Karnataka, students came to schools only for learning Canarese, the official language. However, in 1905, when Malayalam was declared the official language of the entire Lakshadweep islands, the teaching of Canarese was discontinued.

In 1911 an elementary school was opened in Kiltan and in 1925 a similar school was opened at Kadmat. Another temporary school was opened at Chetlat in 1927. The people of the Amini group of islands did not pay as much attention to modern education as did the people of Agatti and Kavaratti islands, which were under the management of Malabar.

Among the Malabar-controlled islands, the first schools were opened in Agatti, Kavaratti and Androth in 1875. However, in Minicoy the first school was started in 1891 with a hospital compounder acting as schoolmaster in addition to his other duties. In the 1930s measures were taken by the government to increase awareness about education. Scholarships were introduced for students passing out from island schools and willing to study further in the mainland.

In 1951, through a census it came to the notice of the authorities that the literacy rate in the UT was only 15 per cent, which by the 1961 census had increased to 23.27 per cent. The steady progress of the territory in the field of education is reflected in broad terms in the percentage of literacy, which rose to 43.66 per cent in 1971. In the same year, the literacy rate was 60.4 per cent in Kerala and 29.5 per cent in India.

Till recently there was no institution of higher education in the territory, and students had to go to the mainland to pursue their studies. To ease this problem, the Jawaharlal Nehru College, the first of its kind in the territory, was inaugurated on 15 July 1972 in Kavaratti. It teaching is mainly divided into three groups: (1) mathematics, physics and chemistry; (ii) physics, chemistry and biology; and (iii) Indian history, world history and economics, up to the pre-degree level. The college is affiliated to the Calicut University. Another similar college has been started at Androth.

Name of the officer Telephone Numbers
(Off) (Res)
Shri. K.S. Mehra, I.A.S. Administrator 04896262255 04896262388 04896262344 04896262184
Shri. Sandeep Kumar, I.A.S. Secretary (Education) 04896262256 04896262348 04896263180
Shri. Madhukar, Director of Education 04896262241 04896262217 04896262264
Shri. M.S. Choombuck, Senior Administrative Officer 04896262318 04896263830  
Shri K.R. Venkatachalam, Officer on Special Duty 04896263835 04896263800  
Subject Experts 04896262419

Educational Institutions

Type 1997-98 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02
Balawadi 11 11 - - -
Pre-Primary 9 9 9 9 9
Junior Basic School 19 19 19 19 20
Senior Basic School 4 4 4 4 4
High School 9 9 9 9 9
College 2 2 2 2 0
Senior Sec. School 0 0 0 0 4
TOTAL 56 56 43 43 46

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