Enhancing Quality and Equality of Education
“Literacy is the road to human progress and the means through which every man; woman and child can realize his or her full potential.”……………Kofi Annan.
Access to education and learning is crucial for development but ‘equitable’ access and learning is vital for sustainable development. The various dimensions of inequality (gender, socio economic, rural – urban), if not taken into account can result in skewed and lopsided growth that has the potential to do more harm than good to the larger fabric of society. Such development stands the risk of strengthening the current power structures and relegating the already marginalized, further down the ...view middle of the document...
On the other hand the concept of equality is based on the principle that essentially all children can learn and should be provided with an equal opportunity to do so, irrespective of their background. Equity within any education system is generally based on the following principles:-
* Inclusivity:-The capacity of the education system to address the specific needs of all children irrespective of their language, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability etc.
* Absence of unfair discrimination: - The capacity of the education system to actively address unfair discriminatory practices or situations and their consequences for a specific subgroup.
Gender disparity has been a major issue in India’s pursuit for achieving the goals of equality in education. It is very unfortunate that India accounts for 30% of the world’s total illiterate population and around 70% of these illiterates are women. Looking into the position of girl’s education and gender gap in education, there is an urgent need to adopt suitable measures for elimination of gender disparities in education. It should be ensured that girls stay on in schools to complete their studies and do not drop out before completion. Formal, non-formal and alternative schools, all forms of communication, both traditional and modern need to be used to provide education for girls.
Another issue related to equality is the rural urban divide in education. It is found that a rural child is less likely to go to school and more likely to be illiterate than an urban child. The rural-urban divide hence also aggravates the gender inequality. The rural landscape and lifestyle, which limits the set of educational infrastructure and quality on the one hand and the access to that infrastructure on the other, works to the particular disadvantage of the females of many communities. From the demand side, rural poverty and demand for child labour, and supply side factors like limited number of schools, long distances from residences to schools, low quantity as well as quality of teachers and inadequate public expenditure in rural areas, leads to restricted access to basic education.
It is true that there are lots of difficulties and obstacles in achieving 100% equitable and qualitative growth in education sector, still the following are the suggestions which we can apply for enhancing quality and equality in education……
* Commercialization of higher education can have adverse implications, both in terms of access and equity. It may even create internal imbalance and distortions in higher education such as excessive importance to the IT related sector at the cost of social science and humanities subjects. Commodification of education, research and knowledge will not serve the long range interest of the nation. It could lead to truncated growth and lop sided development of higher education. Therefore commercialization needs to be controlled. A system to regulate commercialization should be put in...