Since the only real change thats taken place over the past few years is the implementation is the RTE, its reasonable to ask whether that is, in fact, responsible for this slide. Though there is no proof that this is the case, this may well have something to do with the collapse. After all, since the RTE states that no kid can be held back for non-performance, this could be a reason for the fall in standards. The continuous comprehensive evaluation (CCE) has been cited by many as another reason.
Either way, the government needs to get to the bottom of why results are worsening. Equally important, and related, is the sharp increase in private schoolingin even rural areas, this is up from 18.7% in 2006 to 28.3% in 2012, suggesting India could have 50% private schooling by 2018 if the trend continues. Thats not surprising considering Pratham finds the gap between government and private schooling is increasing. For the number of Class 3 students being able to read Class 1 texts, the gap increased from 12% in 2008 to more than 20% in 2012; for Class 5 students being able to read Class 2 texts, the gap increased from close to 15% in 2008 to almost 20% in 2012. In which case, the government needs to wonder about whether private schooling is to be encouraged or discouraged. The RTE, in more ways than one, does the latter.