Literacy percentages (shown separately for males and females and referring to those 7 years and older) are drawn from census data. A special literacy campaign aimed at the those elders who could not read or write has occurred in Kerala satisfying a United Nations standard of 100 per cent literate.
School age attendance is the numbers of children ages 10 to 14 attending school divided by the numbers of children in that age cohort. As contrasted to other states which lavish their public funds on university training, the funding in Kerala has been directed to primary and secondary education. Higher education is not neglected. There are 41 arts and sciences colleges with government support and 133 private colleges for a total of 174. In addition there are 9 engineering colleges, 4 in the government sector and 5 private, with a host of polytechnic training institutes. There are more women than men enrolled in these colleges even in some engineering programs. In addition Kerala boasts more libraries than in all the rest of India.
There is a tendency among development scholars to seize on Kerala's high educational attainment to explain Kerala's well-being successes. There is a clear association, however, in this study an educational explanation begs the question, Why is the educational attainment high in Kerala? We see a more fundamental causation.
(Directory) March 20, 2000