60% of rural private elementary students cannot solve simple division problem: Report

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on July 24, 2020

Around 12 crore students study in private schools, constituting almost half of the total school-going population of India

According to the ‘State of the Sector’ report by the Central Square Foundation, around 60 per cent of rural private school students in class 5 cannot solve a simple division problem. The report further revealed that 35 per cent of rural private school students in class 5 cannot read a class 2 level graph.

The state of education is not abysmal only in rural areas and hinterlands. Only 56 per cent of the students from the richest 20 per cent households going to private schools can read a class 2 level basic paragraph.

Over 12 crore students in India are studying in private schools. This constitutes almost 50 per cent of the total school-going population of India.

The report further notes that parents of private school goers are not aware of the study outcomes of their children. This information gap leads to schools not investing in learning-focussed improvements, which include teacher training and quality.

So, these schools spend their funds on resources that are observable by parents like computer labs, or marketing that proclaims English-medium instruction.


The report states that even after the implementation of Right to Education (RTE) that mandates private schools to enrol 25 per cent of children from the marginalised sections of society, schools hardly follow it.

The data also reveal that the wealthiest quintile of students attending private schools may outperform the poorest quintile by 25-30 per cent.


Parents prefer private schools over the government as their preferred medium is English, not even half of these schools reportedly teach in English. The report found that 42.3 per cent of private schools offer English as at least one of the mediums of instruction in their schools.

However, this is higher than government schools where 10.4 per cent schools deliver teaching in English, according to the survey.

Published on July 24, 2020

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