CMC college, Kottayam - Kerala oldest educational institution

1817 CMC college Kottayam, Kerala

CMS college, Kottayam, Kerala. Deccan Chronicle

Many people may not be aware that the first educational institution in India started with a view to imparting  the English language and western-style education was in the Southern state of Kerala. To day, this state has the highest literacy rate in this country. The institution was also  the first arts college  in this country. CMC college is an interesting institution steeped in history. It is a pioneering college that allowed the girls to study in the institution for the first time. Patronized by none other than Thomas Manroe,  a great and humane British administrator, this institution was the first one to publish a college Magazine in the native language - Malayalam. It was in 1800  Ft. William college was started in Kolkata which, however, was closed in 1835. It was followed by the Hindu College, Kolkata in 1817 (now Presidency College).

CMC college,

CMC college , Kottayam

 ealiest building. CMC college Kottayam,


CMS College  in Kottayam  Town was  was founded by the Church Missionary Society of England, in 1817. This part of Kerala was in  the  princely state  of   Travancore then  and there had been no institution to teach the English language in this state. The first college in the princely state of Travancore to teach western oriented education without compromising on Indian subjects and culture

CMC college, Kottayam (1817), Physic dept.

In Wikipedia, it is mentioned that  Scott Christian College Nagercoil was the first one in the Princely state. Now Nagarcoil is in the State of  Tamil Nadu. In the village of Myladi, near Nagarcoil  in 1809 the college began functioning under the guidance of one  the Rev. William Tobias Ringeltaube, the pioneering missionary of the London Missionary Society in South Travancore. This Central School or Seminary was shifted to Nagercoil in 1818In the early years of the Old Seminary (Orthodox Pazhaya Seminary), the curriculum  gave importance to languages and hence included the study of Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Mathematics, History, and Geography besides English, Malayalam, Sanskrit, and Syriac. In 1838, the college moved to a  new location a wooded hilly area on the scenic Western Ghat.
CMC college Kottayam, Kerala

 In 1860 the seminary became a college at the initiative of  the Rev. Dr James Duthie. English Resident Thomas Manroe (Gov. of Madras Presidency) patronized the college and its activities. Apart from English, Greek and Latin were also taught.   

 In 1834 a new school (based on the model of (CMC) was started at Trivandrum by Mr. Roberts, an English educationist of  (LMS) at the invitation of Travancore Maharaja who was much impressed when he visited the Scott College in Nagarcoil earlier. This school became a University college.  The Rev. Benjamin Bailey became the Principal of what was then known as CMC. He was a maverick and a legendary figure in education and he took the honor of publishing Malayalam to English and English to Malayalam dictionaries which were quite helpful to the students and people. In 1864 a the college ran a magazine in Malayalam with encouragement from the then principal Richard  Collins  in whose name a library is functioning there.  By the bye, room no 52, it is believed, is the oldest one in the complex.  The college got affiliated to Madras university later.

It is quite interesting to note the college  gave free  and quality education to all its students until 1855, when the fee of one Rupee per month per student was collected. In 1855 the college prepared the students for the Matriculation exam.  In 1870 the student strength was barely 129. Classes were started in 1890 for the FA exam - 2 year program and the first batch appeared for the FA exam in 1892. It was only after 1938 girls were allowed to study in the college. Actually way back in 1913 the college took girls, for unknown reasons, admission to girls was suspended five yeas later.

 C.A.Thomas was the first Indian to hold the position of the principal of this venerated institution. Since then, the growth of this historical institution has been phenomenal. What started  out as a small institution by the Church Missionary Society of England  in 1917, has now become one of leading institutions in Kerala with five star status from National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC)  since 1999.