Show on evolution of education

Staff Reporter

KOZHIKODE: Panchami, an eight-year-old Pulaya girl accompanied Ayyankali to join the Government Girls High School at Ooruttambalam in 1914. The head master and local people blocked their entry into the school.

Later, the school was set on fire. The incident sparked the Pulaya revolts triggering caste uprisings all over the State.

Ramani Menon, mother of Vandana, committed suicide on May 9, 1985 after the Mount Carmel Convent School in which her daughter studied failed in the examination.

Allegations were that Vandana was purposefully failed because she could not give a hefty donation.

These are some of the 82 well-designed posters put up at an exhibition on "Education in Kerala'' organised in connection with the three-day National Education Assembly, 2005 that began at the Jubilee Hall here on Friday.

As a sequel to the first one, another poster describes an incident at the Pullar School in Thiruvalla when Velliyakkara Chothi, inspired by Ayyankali's call admitted three Pulaya children at the school. That school was also set ablaze.

The exhibition features the evolution of education in the State from the political struggle for universalisation of education to the current education scenario. It is mainly arranged for educationists and delegates from outside the State, said K. T. Radhakrishnan, exhibition committee chairman.

Tracing the history of learning in the State, a few posters give an insight into the status of women, age of equity and equality. The emergence of Sabha Matts under Namboodiris in Central and North Kerala, the Kalaris under the Kurups and Panikkars and the Gurukulam system are significantly described.

The exhibition highlights wide gap that existed between the Adiyoor (servile and ruled) and the Udayor (masters) in the 18th century of Kerala and the changes that took place with the coming of the Missionaries in the dawn of the 19th century.

Other posters prominently displayed are the first ever modern schooling system set up in Travancore in 1806, declaration of Rani Gouri Paravathi Bhai in 1817 that the State assumed reponsibility for education, setting up of English language schools under Macaulay's vision of education.

Apart from the history of education, the exhibition focusses on some of the landmarks in the history of the State.

The mid 19th century saw the turbulance of social changes in Kerala with the slavery being legally abolished in Travancore in 1855, Melmundu agitation (traditional body garb) agitation of 1859, land possession, uprising in agricultural activity and economic growth.

The exhibition has also displayed posters of the students movement right from the days when students boycotted classes to protest against the India visit of Prince of Wales in 1921and the launch of the students movement in the State when Divan Raghavayya in 1921-22 increased fees in Government institutions.

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