The annual survey done by the Indian education research group Pratham reveals that the standards of education in rural India have declined every year since 2009 despite huge government investments in the field.
The Right to Education Act passed in 2009 guarantees state schooling for children from six to 14 years of age but the study said that the enrollment levels reached 96 percent in this age category in 2013, a marginal difference from 2012. The survey showed that in 2009, 52.8 percent of children in standard five across government and private schools were able to read a text from standard two, this fell to 47 percent in 2013. The enrollment of children in private schools increased slightly in 2013 to 29 percent. This number was just 18.7 percent in 2006. The report pointed out that the guarantee of education is meaningless without satisfactory learning. There are serious implications for India’s equity and growth if basic learning outcomes do not improve soon. The survey was conducted in 16,000 villages across the country and covered about 600,000 students in government and private schools in rural areas.