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Assessing the ‘Kerala model’: education is necessary but not sufficient
Authors: John Simister
Source: Journal of South Asian Development , Vol. 6, No. 1
Topic(s): Education
Country: Asia
Published: JUN 2010
Abstract: Kerala is often praised as being more developed, in some respects, than the rest of India: several development indicators, such as literacy rates and health, suggest Kerala is much more successful than the rest of India. However, a growing minority of observers have expressed disappointment with Kerala: some writers suggest Kerala is poorer than we might expect given its high literacy rate; other writers argue that women in Kerala are not as empowered as previous researchers implied. This paper tests the hypothesis that successes which have been achieved by the ‘Kerala model’ are mainly a result of education. This ‘education hypothesis’ is contrasted with various other possible explanations of Kerala’s success, which suggest Kerala is unique in some way – for reason(s) which are disputed and which often seem impossible to test by scientific analysis. However, Kerala is not successful in every respect; this paper examines some remaining problems in Kerala.