There is a certain teleology in the pursuit of knowledge and higher education among the upwardly-mobile section of Muslims of Kerala. The educational consultancies and the like that are active in Malabar, sending upper middle-class kids to foreign destinations for medical education look at education purely from a practical, utilitarian perspective. Knowledge for the sake of itself seems a concept alien to these tycoons of commercialized knowledge.
Aspirational education without idealistic underpinnings can hurt the prospects of communities climbing up the ladder of upward mobility. Hyper commercialization is wreaking havoc on the progressive educational edifice in the state, which has for so long believed that there are certain things money cannot buy, and that prime among them was education.
Social climbing is an intricate process. There are agencies galore, catering to the needs of middle-class Muslim parents seeking instant gratification from earning a quick medical degree for their wards. Education, which was once seen as a prop to help subaltern communities out of drudgery, is now perceived as a utilitarian tool for social as well as political advancement. Such tendencies also trickle down, in ways undesirable, into the field of primary education as well, where the state’s performance has been laudatory.