So far, well and good. One should always have ruthless commitment to get down to the bottom of the things, which is commendable. The issue, however, is with the selective application to the rigour only to those ideas that one doesn't believe in. Consider the issue of closure of schools due to RTE. The same group which subjects private schools to the extreme 'rigour' of considering confounding factors while making conclusions, conducted a survey to identify the number of private schools closed due to RTE and made conclusions without similar rigour.
From this, it is absolutely clear that no large scale closure is happening – and the notion of “hardship to students” seems to be only a deliberate ploy to foment emotional response
All State Governments and UT Administrations had been requested to inform about the schools which were shut down due to non-compliance of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) norms....................
Punjab reported closure of 1170 schools, Himachal Pradesh 4 schools, Madhya Pradesh 998 schools and Puducherry 1 school due to failure to maintain norms under the RTE Act.
- Since the APU study is about school closure due to RTE, does it mention the other older studies or sources which talk about this number? If there's a difference, does it explain the difference? This is the least expected from any study - literature review and comment on gaps if any.
One should note that MHRD's reply to the question was much before the release of APU's report. MHRD's reply was on 5th August, 2015 while the APU report was released in January, 2016. This finds no mention in APU's report.
- In the case of private schools, the same group applies the reasoning of 'what about invisible and indirect factors responsible for better performance?' - referring to background characteristics of children.
Applying similar reasoning to school closure - 'what about the invisible and indirect factors responsible for closure of schools, other than direct notices?'
Closure of schools needn't happen only after the notices from the education department. It can also happen voluntarily due to the fear of punishment. Did the group which subject claims on the performance of private schools to rigour, consider such invisible cases before making statements that there is no large-scale closure of private schools? The answer is - it didn't.