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Education in the islands in earlier periods was confined to the teaching of Quran in schools attached to the mosques. In these schools called Madrassas, the Malayalam language was also taught in Arabic scripts. Only few could read and write and neither their isolated position nor any of their avocations made much call for education. In the earlier years of British administration, the people were considered to be too backward to realize the value of modern education and no serious attempts were made to start schools in the islands till the latter half of the 19th century.