Education in Kanyakumari district is greatly influenced by the Christian Missionaries which were the pioneers of English education in the erstwhile Travancore State and more particularly in the then South Travancore, the area which presently forms the district of Kanyakumari. The Portuguese and the Dutch, who came to the erstwhile Travancore State before the British, were the Roman Catholics and they paid little attention towards the cause of education. But later, the Protestant Missionaries who arrived in this place introduced English education in the district, which was part and parcel of the then Travancore State. The founder of the English School in the formerly Travancore State was Rev. William Tobias Ringle Taube, a native of Prussia and a man of great force and character. He came in the year 1806, and after that, he devoted his whole energy to evangelical work and wherever he went, he carried with him the mission of English education.
Ringle Taube`s noble effort in the spread of education was helped by the recommendation of the Resident Col. Munro, by a grant of land at a nominal rent made by Lakshmi Bai
. During the short period of ten years from 1806 to 1816, Taube laid the foundation not only for the growth of the Christianity
, but also for the popular education in the area.
Before the Government of the then Travancore Native State took over the direction and control of the education system, private teachers called Asans used to conduct schools in villages and spread such instruction required for daily life of the ordinary man. The then Government took no direct part in the field of education. Teachers were not paid the due remuneration, and the villagers contributed themselves voluntarily for the teachers` fees. The system though lacking in state control worked well and met the requirements of the people until individualistic tendencies rose up to manifest themselves and undermine corporate action on which ancient village organization was passed.
When Kanyakumari district was formed and added to the then Chennai (Madras) in 1956, the education department of the state was headed by the director of public instructions who was assisted by subordinate officers and necessary complementary staff in his office at the state level. The posts of the divisional inspectors at divisional level, the district educational officers at the education district level and the inspectresses of girls` school at the circle level were created under the administrative and disciplinary control of the director of public instruction. The state was divided into the two divisions having head quarters at Madurai
. Each division was under the control of a divisional inspector. When the district of Kanyakumari was formed, it was included under the control of the divisional inspector, Madurai, who was having jurisdiction over the districts of Chennai, Madurai, Chengalpattu, Thanjavur
, South Arcot, Ramanathapuram and Tirunelveli
. The entire district was formed as one education district and the post of district educational officer for the district was also created.
School education at the district level is under the chief educational officer at Nagercoil who is assisted by three district educational officers at Nagercoil, Thuckalay and Kuzhithurai and the inspectress of girls` schools at Nagercoil. The district educational officers and inspectress of girls` schools have direct control over the high and higher secondary schools, while for the inspection of middle and primary schools there are deputy inspectors of schools at range level. In the Kanyakumari district, there are nine such ranges and each of them is having one deputy inspector of schools. The range deputy inspectors are having their headquarters at Thuckalai, Suchindrum, Kuzhithurai, Nagercoil, Rajakkamangalam, Thiruvattar, Colachel, Munchirai and Karungal. Some of the prominent educational institutions in this district are S.T.Hindu College, Women Christian College, Devikumari Womens College, Pioneer Kumaraswamy College, Vivekananda College, Malankara Catholic College, Annai Velankanni College, Morning Star Polytechnic, Sun Institute of Technology, Kalaivanar N.S.K Polytechnic, St.Xavier`s College of Engineering, Wins Engineering College, Siddardha College of Catering & Hotel Management, etc.