Educational disparity

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever” – Mahatma Gandhi
Educational disparity refers to the act of unequal distribution of academic resources among people. This can be through things like limitation in funding of government educational bodies, lack of skilled teachers and shortage of books and other technological means that aid education. It is one of the most important problems plaguing developing third world countries such as India. The education quality of a state may vary even when moving from city to city. Good education is a necessary thing in modern times in order to make it get a job or become successful. Schools containing a large number of minority students often have fewer and lower quality books, bigger class sizes, no labs, inexperienced teachers and less access to better learning materials overall. Thus students with a high potential but no money are unable to surpass the well-off. Inequalities among such students include:
• Regional inequality
• Inequality on the basis of gender
• Caste based inequality
• Household income
Many students in our country still lack a proper internet connection even in areas outside villages. This is a major drawback, due to most of education shifting online nowadays, especially due to the worldwide outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Vast amounts of free educative material is available online for free, but cannot be accessed by most children due to the lack of an internet connection. Students coming from a wealthier background often do better in their studies. Although it is not impossible for a child from a poorer economic background to match up with him, it is quite a commendable job and for many, it is often not possible. In many rural areas, little or no schools exist which does not even give children the option to get educated. In metropolitian cities, education comes very costly and it isn’t possible for all parents to send their children to an expensive private school. Government schools still lack the guidance and infrastructure that is most likely present in their private counterparts. Most children in such schools have no access to labs and thus are never exposed to the practical side of education. Even in these modern times, we are unable to see ourselves under the lead of a woman. Girls are often denied education and are thought to be more appropriate to perform household chores. Men are expected to be better educated in comparison to women. Backdated mindsets and thoughts are the root cause of such problems. Reservations of seats in educational institutions have recently increased leading to the drop in the number of seats for meritorious children. There still exists a serious gap in education between the more privileged and the under privileged sections of the society.
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” – Benjamin Franklin
The Government could teach young parents about the necessity of education and explain to them why they should educate their child instead of putting them to work. More encouragement can be given to children to study by providing awards to exceptionally brilliant students, even from a small age. Banners and posters could be put up and made attractive to attract people’s attention to the importance of quality education. The anti Ragging helpline is 18001805522 and the helpline for the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is 1800117002.
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or Right to Education Act engraves the importance of free education (that the child will not have discontinue his education due to lack of funds) and compulsory education (that the Government are liable to pay the charges for him to complete his education). The Government is now encouraging students towards higher education by offering various grants and scholarships to meritorious students. An increasing number of Government educational bodies has been observed in the last few decades. The Government is also now carefully monitoring the educational qualifications of teachers and emphasizing on quality education.
In recent times, there has been a disproportionate amount of rise in private school enrolment. A 2020 news article from the Hindustan times narrated that the students from the richest 20% of the society are 17 times more likely to be studying law from the poorest 20%. A huge percentage of India still craves English medium education, the lack of which is apparent in most cities and towns. In a 2011 Census, it was discovered that 73% of the Indian population was literate, out of which 81% were males and 65% were females.
The absence of constistent standards of education among educational bodies and the high cost of education are huge contributing factors to educational disparity. Without quality education, it is almost impossible for most people to become successful. This in turn makes them unable to provide their children with education, and this continues in a vicious cycle.