Declining reading skills in India: Madhya Pradesh sticks out yet again
May 15, 2020
Author - Arnab Dey


While India has made decent progress in increasing outreach to education under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, the quality of education remains a cause for concern. The proportion of students in standard 5 who could read standard 2 level text has declined in rural India from 2007 to 2016. Madhya Pradesh emerges to be the poorest among the list of states where the quality of education has declined. The proportion of standard 5 children who could read standard 2 level text declined from 78% in 2007 to 39% in 2016. Conversely, the proportion of students in standard 5 who could read nothing has been increasing steadily. A comparison of the reduction in reading levels between Government and private schools indicates that the decline was more drastic in Government schools where the reading level of standard 5 children reduced by close to 40% from 2010 to 2016.

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