Kalvi Kan Thirunda Karmaveerar Kamaraj
As Chief Minister, Kamaraj removed the family vocation based Hereditary Education Policy introduced by Rajaji. The Madras State made immense strides in education and trade. New schools were opened, so that poor rural students were to walk no more than 3 miles (4.8 km) to their nearest school. Better facilities were added to existing ones. No village remained without a primary school and no panchayat without a high school.
Kamaraj strove to eradicate illiteracy by introducing free and compulsory education up to the eleventh standard. He introduced the Midday Meal Scheme to provide at least one meal per day to the lakhs of poor school children (for the first time in the world).
He introduced free school uniforms to weed out caste, creed and class distinctions among young minds. Kamaraj Statue in Marina Beach, Chennai depicting his contribution to education in the state.During the British regime the education rate was only 7 per cent. But in Kamaraj’s period it reached 37% . Apart from increasing the number of schools, steps were taken to improve standards of education. To improve standards, the number of working days was increased from 180 to 200; unnecessary holidays were reduced; and syllabuses were prepared to give opportunity to various skill and vocational abilities. Kamaraj and Bishnuram Medhi (Governor) took efforts to establish IIT Madras in 1959.Kamaraj had never been to a school as a student probably the reason why he ensured that education got its due priority!