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23 February 2024

Wives of NRI men in Kerala take children to college

By VM Sathish
The South Indian state of Kerala renowned for its cent per cent literacy rate has gone a step ahead in ensuring their women do not miss out on higher education.
The latest trend in the Malabar region is establishing child care facilities in colleges after it was discovered that most students drop out of college after they have a child.
Leading colleges in the Malabar region of Kerala, home to large number of South Indian expatriate migrants in the Gulf countries, have started child care centers to look after the babies of female students and teachers, while they attend classes.
These colleges are also reported to have started counselling facilities to address emotional problems of female students and teachers.
Speaking to Emirates 24|7, Dr Khalil Chowwa, Principal, Sir Syyed College Taliparamba, said that majority of female students in his college are wives of Gulf expatriates. The college has started a day care centre in order to reduce the number of drop-outs. Most women do not pursue higher studies when they become mothers."
In fact, most colleges in the region now advertise that they offer child care facilities.
K M Abbas, President of Sir Syed College Taliparamba Alumni in Dubai, said: “Many Muslim women, married to Gulf based NRKs are studying there.
Many of them had to discontinue higher education as there was nobody to take care of their babies. Now when they go to the college, they carry their children along and hand them over to the day care center."
“When the college was started in 1967, there was only a single female student and 350 male students. Today there are 1,300 female students and 600 male students. This trend is not unique to only our college in Kannur, but all over Malabar region. Many of the men in the Malabar region are working in the Gulf, while their wives continue higher education back home,” Abbas added.
The college alumni, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in Dubai, plans to help college to expand the day care centres and to offer more scholarships for students.
Psychological issues
Similarly, depression, suicidal tendency and stress levels are also reportedly high among Kerala women, whose husbands are abroad.
“We have about 1,200 members in the college alumni –majority of them have their life partners living and studying in Kerala," said one member.
 “To help psychologically distressed female students, we have started employing special tutors, who take care of even their emotional requirements,” said Abbas.


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