People who belong to the same political, economical and social group tend to have similar characteristics that keep them in solidarity. Their viewpoints about various aspects of life such as education are related. The manner in which they perceive inequality in education is almost the same. Inequality in the educational front is commonly based on gender, race and disability. Such discrimination irrespective of its basis has been affecting the entire globe negatively in the economic, political and cultural fronts. This paper will lay immense focus on the kind of discrimination mentioned above, its consequences and how to reverse the miserable situation as we promote equity.
Forms of inequality in education
Inequality in education based on gender
Discrimination against gender is a huge part of culture. In many societies, women are the recipients of this kind of discrimination. Low schooling of girls slows economic growth for us all (Klasen, 2002). He used cross-country and regressions in his article to investigate how low school attendance of the girl child affects the long term economic growth. In his results, Klasen asserts that it robs the world an average human capital. Close 1% percentage differences in annual per capita growth rates between Sub‐Saharan Africa, East Asia and, the Middle East can be attributed to the differences in gender experienced in teaching in these regions.
For far too long, the right to quality education has been denied to the girl child especially developing continents, especially Africa, (UNICEF, 2004). In the Southern and Eastern parts of Africa, inadequate access to school and sanitary towels, early marriages and female genital mutilation are a significant hindrance to the girl child education. Most recently, Kenyan media highlighted a story of school-going girls who use a borrowed piece of skin, soil, feathers and dried leaves to contain their periods. Those who were not lucky enough to obtain the unique skin opted out of school during the entire week of menstruation.
In Mozambique, Angola, Eritrea, Comoros and Ethiopia the enrollment rate and attendance of girls in primary school has been lower than that of the boy child. The statistics collected concerning the enrollment of girls when compared to boys in high schools and the university level is even worse than the statistics collected at the primary level of education. In developing countries, gender discrimination is also not inevitable as one would expect. This is evidenced by difference in course taking patterns and the portrayal of female and male students in curricular materials. Math and Science gaps are also being experienced globally in regards the enrollment and participation of both genders within the two disciplines (Correll, 2002). Scientifically, the intellect level of both genders is the same but most girls lack an “interest” in acquiring an in-depth knowledge of science. The pertinent question in this should be, do they have the attention? It is absurd to hear such a cruel reality where it has proven that a girl’s education is one of most valuable and cost-effective strategy that will foster development and economic growth. Research has shown in the past that, well educated mothers are more likely to have healthier children. The findings of the research continue to say that the cycle of malnutrition and poverty will be broken if women or mothers are given quality education (UNICEF, 2004). There are several governmental and non-governmental organizations throughout the world that are trying to combat malnutrition. The reason why they haven’t thought of incorporating women’s education in their programs is a million dollar question that has not yet been answered.
Inequality in education based on race
Redistribution of the scarce educational rewards which are available in a setting where only a few thrive while many fail generates the issue of discrimination. Racial discrimination is a classic example of such methods. Roscigno and Darnell (1999) examined theories relating the nature of family backgrounds and educational resources. They documented the extent to which whites differ from non whites in terms of resources; the mediating role such an attribute plays on the scores of the students who lie on both sides and whether educational achievements vary with racial group. Their research found out that the family environment had a role in determining the performance of the learners’ academic achievements. The socioeconomic profile of a family is the primary culprit in this case. It varies considerably with race. Relationships between family structure and academics was also found to been proven to be profound (Roscigno and Darnell, 1999).
It was also found out that students of black origin were more likely to hail from traditional family backgrounds. This remains undisputed because of the continued racial differences in educational achievements. The type of school and the quality of education a child receives depends on his/her parents socioeconomic well doing. In the US, the 2011 high school class got a bad report form, and it reflected poorly on everyone. Only 33% were proficient in math and 34% in reading. Only 10 percent of black students were proficient in mathematics, as opposed to 51% of Asians, 43 % of whites, 17 % of Native-Americans and 14 % of Latino students. Although white students in America have not yet outdone other advanced nations, the US is grappling with an educational system that is leaving out a large achievement gap that is characterized by race and ethnicity, and a pipeline to prison for black youths . This shouldn’t be an interpretation of blatant racism of hate crime activities and racial misdemeanors, but rather a silent but systemic racism that permits inferior institutions to fester in poor, black and brown urbanites. In Brazil, the figures are shockingly different, only 2 % of blacks and browns have college degrees as opposed to a10% of whites and over 25 % students of Asian origin. Racial inequality in education translates into income inequality among these groups: browns and blacks, and this represent a bulk of 72 % of the people living below the poverty line and an 11 % of the affluent in society (Stahlberg S.G, 2010). America ranks 32nd in mathematics in regards to the performance in mathematics when compared to other countries such Canada, Japan, the Netherlands who have a majority of students performing well at the proficiency. Meanwhile in regards to the abililty to read, the United States ranks 17th. In Korea, 47 percent of the students are proficient in reading, while in other high-ranking nations including Finland have recorded a percentage of 46%, Singapore and New Zealand (42 percent), Japan and Canada (41 percent), Australia (38 percent) and Belgium (37 percent).
Inequality in education based on disability
The issue of disability to receive less attention since the Eighteenth century despite the debates it has received over the years. Disability played a substantive role in the three great debates on restrictive migrations, African-American freedom and women’s adult of suffrage ( Baynton. 2007). In spite of this so called substantive part, people shifted their focus to gender and racial discrimination. This has over the years made it a challenging issue to tackle this problem primarily because information on socioeconomic gaps in the with the hence making it difficult for disabled people to gan quality education. This is attributed to the fact that information on socioeconomic has been based on disparities in performance-based disability as opposed to self-reported disability. A study by Nusselder W., Huisman M., Deeg D. Kunst A. , Grigoletto F., and Mackenbach J. (2005) aimed to establish the presence of educational gaps in terms of the prevalence, incidence, and recovery of both self-reported and performance-based disability. In this study it was found out that higher education serves to postpone or avoid disability, but provides little help when disability precedes it.
Disabled people receive all manner of bias and discrimination in every country irrespective of race, borders, political affiliations gender and even colossal national resources. Over 600 hundred million people are disabled in the world. Many of them come from Asia and Africa. A study done by UNESCO indicate that 1-2 % of persons with disabilities may receive some form of education while a recent study by world bank suggests that one in every five people of the world’s poorest people is a person with a disability. Poverty and a lack of education are closely intertwined. What people fail to understand is that impairment does not necessarily lead to disability and subsequent poverty. Therefore if a disabled person is denied an opportunity to learn, then we need to lay blame his/her poor status on the denial of opportunity to study but not his or her disability.
Intra school and inter school separations which are aimed at helping students with special needs have also come with their challenges. Students with special needs end up being completely isolated from the rest. These complete isolations may not give competitiveness they could have gained if they were to study together.
Vision to inequalities in education
Inequalities in education can be addressed in various ways. Coordination from all stakeholders is paramount. For instance, gender inequalities discussed herein can be addressed by ensuring a sustained supply of sanitary towels to schools, especially in developing nations. This will enable the girl child to compete with the boy child on an even ground. Sensitization of the communities where early marriages and female genital mutilation are norm will be needed. Instituting tough laws to arrest and prosecute the law breakers and sympathizers will compound it all. The governmental and the nongovernmental organizations need to rethink their strategies to incorporate mothers’ education in their programs for future sustainability. Pooling of resources and channeling them towards one goal is necessary for the achievement of the girl child education. Achievement of girl child education is a positive step in the realization of millennium development goals of a better and inclusive society.
Racial inequalities should also be addressed by the respective governments. Creating public institutions which can match the stature of the prestige enjoyed by those who go to private individuals due to their political and racial supremacy, will be a first for such governments. Whites tend to have parents with stable economic backgrounds as a result of levels of education, occupational status, and income than Blacks. Such parental demographics are associated with White students’ outcomes.
Persons with disabilities should not be judged on the basis of their disability. They too can deliver if given an opportunity. Public awareness is also important. For us to achieve that, the debates about disabilities need to be as extensive as that covering gender and other forms of biases. This will enhance to break the cycle of poverty hopelessness in this group.
As discussed here in discrimination of any kind, either social, political or economical is likely to have an adverse effect on the quality of education in entirety. All those involved, whether directly or indirectly, need to take action for the realization of the greater good of the world’s ‘education.
Baynton D. Disability and the Justification of Inequality in American History: Retrieved from http://www.disabilitymuseum.org/dhm/edu/essay.html?id=70
Correll S. J., (2002).Gender Inequality in Education of Sociology
Love D.A.,(2011). Racial Inequality In Education Hurts America’s Global Competitiveness: Retrieved from http://www.://progressive.org/education_racial_inequality.html
New strategies to promote gender equality/ vox.(n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.voxeu.org/article/new strategies-promote-gender-equality-br
Stahlberg S.G., (2010). Racial inequality and affirmative action in education in Brazil. Retrieved from http://www.stanford.edu/group/progressive/cgi-bin/?p=661