Equal Education Essay
The American Dream was derived from the United States Declaration of Independence which states that, “All mean are created equal” and that they are “endowed by their creator with certain inalienable Rights” including “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (US 1776). This means that every person has equal opportunity in education, work and resources. This guaranteed that success was earned in an upward mobile fashion and that equality was maintained. Education is one of the main focuses of this dream but the equality that use to be associated with this area has shifted its importance. Income inequality has swallowed up the importance of equality in education due to the lack of opportunities given to those who are in the lower and middle classes. Education as part of the American Dream is no longer an equal opportunity because it is overrun by income inequality.
The oldest story in the book is the idea that rich kids do better than poor kids in school. As Paul Krugman says it in his article, “Student’s who scored in the bottom fourth on the exam, but came from families whose status put them in the top fourth-what we used to call RDKs, for Rich Dumb Kids, were more likely to finish college than students who scored in the top fourth but whose parents were in the bottom fourth ” (Krugman 591). The more current issue is that the gap has widened between the educational successes in high and low income students, which is exactly what Krugman is arguing in favor towards.
Low income students are generally found in low income communities which have fewer resources to devote to their schools. With inadequate funds and resources, these kids are not getting the equal opportunity in education as kids in high income communities. Kids in higher income communities attend schools who can pay for the best teachers and in result create a better equation path towards college than those in poor neighborhoods. It’s the sad truth that if you are not set up for success in the beginning than the chances of success quickly dwindle. Paul Krugman mentions this in his article, Confronting Inequality, “A bad start can ruin a child’s chances for life (Krugman 590). Along with the resources and funding of the schools, the school districts are an example of how income inequality is effecting the opportunity of equal education. “Inequality means that the desirable school districts are growing fewer in number, and more expensive to live in” (Krugman 590). Those who can afford to live in a nicer neighborhood in a nicer district can automatically gain better educational opportunities along with that. For most people, the high school that you attend can make or break your college career. If you don’t attend a high school that can give you the needed information along with great recommendations and resources, college may not be an option.
Getting into college is equalized by a group of standardized tests. This was the systems way of settling the american dream standard of...
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It is an accepted working policy of all the democratic nations to make provision for equal opportunities. As Dr. Radhakrishnan had pointed out long back “Democracy only provides that all men should have equal opportunities for the development of their unequal talents”.
The Indian Constitution also as per the articles 15, 16, 17, 38 and 48, guarantee that the State shall not discriminate between persons on account of their religion or region and caste or class. The Preamble of the Constitution also assures equality to all the citizens. It means that our Constitution is committed to the principle of equality and accepted it as an article of faith.
It is in tune with this spirit of the constitution the Education Commission has observed thus: “One of the important social objectives of education is to equalise opportunity, enabling the backward or underprivileged classes and individuals to use education as a lever for the improvement of their condition.
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Every society that values social justice and is anxious to improve the lot of the common man and cultivate all available talent must ensure progressive equality of opportunity to all sections of the population. This is the only guarantee for the building up of an egalitarian and human society by which the exploitation of the weak will be minimised.”
Need for Equalisation of Educational Opportunities:
The equalisation of educational opportunities is essentially linked with the equality notions in the social system. The social system which intends to provide equal opportunities for the advancement of all has to make provision for equal educational opportunities also. The need for emphasising the equality of opportunity in the education arises for various reasons. They may be cited here.
1. Equality of educational opportunities is needed for the establishment of egalitarian society based on social equality and justice;
2. It contributes to the search for talents among all the people of a nation;
3. It is essential to ensure rapid advancement of a nation;
4. It is needed for the successful functioning of a democracy. Educated and enlightened people alone can ensure a meaningful democracy, and
5. It helps to develop a closer link between manpower needs of a society and the availability of the skilled personnel.
Problems Concerning Equality of Opportunities in Education:
Education is of great help in establishing equality and ensuring social justice no doubt. But the system of education itself can add to the existing inequalities, or at least perpetuate the same. This has been the major problem in providing equal educational opportunity for all. Inequalities of educational opportunities arise for the following reasons.
Causes for the Inequalities of Educational Opportunities:
1. Inequalities of educational opportunity occur due to the poverty of a large number of people. The poor cannot afford to meet the expenses of education.
2. Children in rural areas studying in poorly equipped schools have to compete with the children in urban areas where there are well-equipped schools. The poor exposure of rural children may lead to their poor performance.
3. In the places where no primary, secondary or collegiate educational institutions exist, children do not get the same opportunity as those who have all these in their neighbourhood.
4. Wide inequalities also arise from differences in home environments. A child from a rural household or slum does not have the same opportunity as a child from an upper class home with educated parents.
5. There is wide sex disparity in India. Hence, girls’ education is not given the same encouragement as boys.
6. Education of backward classes including scheduled castes and tribes and economically backward sections is not at par with that of forward communities or classes.
Suggestions for Reorganising Educational System for Providing Equality of Educational Opportunity in India:
The Government of India has been striving to achieve the target of providing equal educational opportunities to all the people. Some suggestions could be cited in this regard. These suggestions may be of some help in reaching the target.
1. In order to reap the fruits of education and also to remove the prejudices and biases, adult illiteracy has to be removed by launching appropriate programmes.
2. By following a “policy of protective discrimination” all efforts must be made to increase the opportunities for education to all the weaker sections of the society like the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, backward communities and even women.
3. Honest attempts be made to provide compulsory education to all the children at least upto 14 years. No one should be made to suffer for want of educational opportunity and facilities.
4. The higher educational chances should be extended to all on merit.
5. Education Commission suggests that for equalisation of educational opportunity the following measures may be adopted:
(a) Education should be made tuition free for all immediately at the primary and secondary levels and in course of time, at the university level at least for the needy deserving students;
(b) Free textbooks and writing materials should be supplied at the primary stage;
(c) Transport facilities should be provided to reduce cost on hostels and scholarships;
(d) Facilities for the students to earn a part of their educational expenses, that is, “earn while you learn” schemes should be developed;
(e) There should be liberal schemes for scholarships;
(f) Wide differences that are found in the educational development in different states and districts must be minimised to a desirable extent.
In the industrialised countries the idea of equality of opportunity is very firmly rooted. Halsey believes that the principle of equality has a powerful and a persistent appeal. He further points out that “its influence is reinforced in advanced society by the impersonal demands of the economy for efficiency, for a fluid labour force, and for rational allocation of jobs by tests of fitness to fill them.”