During the 14th and 15th centuries, Taliparamba was a major center of learning and culture. During the rule of the Kolathiri rulers, the students went for primary education in Ezhuthupalli under the village school masters. After that they were sent to Kalari for getting trained in Kalaripayattu. Later they also studies Sanskrit from Vedic schools. There were many Kalaris and Vedic schools in the ancient times. The art form of Kalaripayattu is associated mainly with Kannur district.
It was during the middle of 16th century that the western education was started here. The first English school was started in Thalasseri in 1856 and was called Basel German Mission English School. There was a Brennen School in Thalasseri set up in 1862 which was the center of the present day Brennen College.
At present there are many schools and colleges in Kannur district. The literacy rate in Kannur district is also very high with a rate of 95.41%. There is a University here called the Kannur University established in 1996. The colleges of Kannur, Kasaragod and Mananthavady taluk of Wayanad district are affiliated under this university. One of the regional centers of Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit is also in Kannur at Payyannur.
The two Educational districts in Kannur are Thalasseri and Kannur. They are further divided into Educational Sub districts. The Educational sub districts in Kannur are Payyannur, Madayi, Pappinisseri, Thaliparamba, Kannur and Irikkur. The Educational sub districts in Thalasseri are Panoor, Chokli, Kuthuparamba, Mattannur, Iritti and Thalasseri. The District Institute of Educational Training (DIET) is situated in Palayad in Thalasseri. There is a National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) also in Kerala.
List of Schools and Colleges in Kannur district
|Higher Secondary School||71|
|Vocational Higher Sec School||16|
|Arts & Science College||24|
|Training College (B Ed)||1|
|Training College (TTC)||5|