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Kerala mulls opening state-run schools in Middle East

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Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Education Minister P.K. Abdu Rabb told the assembly on Thursday that the education department would conduct a feasibility study to see if state-run schools can open in Middle East countries.

Rabb was responding to a submission raised by Congress legislator Anwar Sadath.

“There are lots of practical difficulties in opening a state-run school in the Middle East due to technical and diplomatic reasons,” said Rabb.

“Despite all such difficulties, what we have decided is to see how we can help our people and the education secretary will be preparing a feasibility report on what can be done and if a state-run school can be opened in the Middle-East countries,” he added.

Sadath said that the backbone of Kerala’s economy is thousands of people from the state, who are working in Middle-East countries.

“The situation is such that while a large majority of the Kerala diaspora is unable to fund for the very high fees that is being charged by the present educational institutions in these countries, many of them are forced to leave back their wife and children in Kerala,” Sadath said.

“Hence, there has been a long standing demand from our people that if a state-run school is opened there, they will be able to live with their families,” said Sadath.

The latest study report of S. Irudayarajan of Centre for Development Studies here stated that 90 percent of Kerala’s 23.63 lakh diaspora is in various Middle-East countries of which UAE accounts for 38.7 percent of the Kerala emigrants followed by Saudi Arabia — 25.2 percent. (IANS)

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Northern Kerala to Soon Emerge as Major Tourist Attraction

The department has pumped in almost Rs 500 crore in the area for tourism and infrastructure development

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Northern Kerala to Soon Emerge as Major Tourist Attraction
Northern Kerala to Soon Emerge as Major Tourist Attraction. IANS

Are Kovalam and backwaters the first things that come to mind when thinking of Kerala? All that’s set to change as more places will soon be added to the bucket list from ‘God’s own country’ — at an outlay of Rs 500 crore.

The Kerala Tourism Department is taking new initiatives and expanding its horizons, not just in the southern belt but also the northern zone with new “must visit” destinations.

“Kerala has seen a strong tourism sector since two decades and we have been doing well domestically and internationally.

“We are starting new destinations in different geographical areas. We are widening our canvas and including new destinations,” P. Bala Kiran, Director, Kerala Tourism told IANS.

He added that the northern parts of the state like Wayanad, Kannur, Kozhikode, Thissur, Malapuram and Palakad are on the list of new tourism destinations.

“This will be a separate circuit which will be complementing the existing tourism circuit in south Kerala,” Kiran stated.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

While the peak season for visiting the state is mainly November to February, the Tourism Department is also chalking out plans to attract tourists round the year.

And for that, the department has pumped in almost Rs 500 crore in the area for tourism and infrastructure development.

“We are also planning out new ventures like introducing river cruise facility in Malabar, making a Kameshwari heritage project, Jatayu Earth Centre which will feature world’s largest bird sculpture and offering plethora of adventure and rejuvenating activities and others,” Bala noted.

The department is also focusing on alluring young tourists by offering multiple adventure activities — water-based sports like river rafting and kayaking as also trekking, paragliding.

Recently, Kerala also bagged ‘Best destination for families’ award through an online poll which was conducted by Lonely Planet magazine.

Bala added in the past one year, Kerala has witnessed tremendous growth in tourist arrivals — both domestic and internatinal.

Also Read: Infosys Donates Rs 2.50cr To A Hospital in Kerala

“In 2017 we had 1.09 million international tourists and 14.6 million domestic tourists which is roughly translating into a growth of 11 per cent in the last year,” he added.

Asked about the major challenges being faced by the Tourism Department, Bala pointed out that ensuring safety and security of tourists were the first priority followed by providing world class amenities to the visitors and streamlining the waste management system.

“Kerala government is setting up a Tourism Regulatory Authority which will be a statutory body with full legal powers to intervene and execute orders whenever there are complaints on tourist-related activities,” Bala noted. (IANS)

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