Discrimination within the education system; Does everyone get a fair deal for a good education?
This essay discusses the discrimination within the education system and answers to the question that does everyone get a fair deal for a good education, concerning particular focus on the gender discrimination in the developing countries. The aspect covered in this essay is critical because without giving equal and deserved attention to women as well to prepare them to contribute to the society, the society shall remain at a loss. The developed countries had realized this fact however many developed countries are still struggling. Further, the essay also discusses the causes which design and compel the educational systems to discriminate and the resulting factors which those discriminated experience due to this. Finally, the solution are presented to avoid this type of discrimination such as increased inclusion and support from the government, and many other critical factors are discussed.
“Education is the foundation upon which we build our future.”
Indeed Christine Gregoire has rightly identified the importance of education and the role it plays to build our future. The purpose of education becomes even more critical as it impacts and shapes the individual and collectively the society. However, not all people get a chance to have such a strong foundation on which their future must be built upon. It is due to the discrimination factor which hinders an individual to maximum utilize his/her potential. Discrimination in education occurs when people who are different regarding gender, age, financial conditions, religion, nationality, ethnicity and age do not get the equal opportunity to participate in the system. The world has seen a massive level of discrimination in the history where the differences have caused the inequality among people to attain the fundamental human rights. This was also recognized by the international community, and as a result, the Universal Declaration of Human rights in International law declared the attainment of education is the fundamental human right of the individuals in the world. In the contemporary world, the discrimination in the education system is still prevalent, and thus everyone does not get a fair deal of proper education. This essay shall shed light on the fact that how developing countries are struggling with the issue of discrimination by gender within the education system and how individuals get deprived of their fundamental human right and are unable to get the maximum benefit out of the education system which any educational institute is intended to provide.
History reveals that in the past, parents and churches were responsible for disseminating education. After the revolutions in America and French, it became a public duty to ensure education for all and was taken as a duty of the government to provide education to all of its citizens. The state was made responsible for playing an active role in this area by ensuring the availability and accessibility to all of its citizens. However, the right to education was not protected, at the beginning of the enlightenment era and the right was also not discussed in any of the legal document which could make binding on the state for this cause. The state was just deemed responsible for ensuring that the parents should have complied their duty. Until the universal declaration of human rights stated that every individual had the right to get an education. It divides education into three levels such as primary, secondary and higher education, but after even after declaring education a basic human right, there is one additional factor that the governments in the developed, as well as the developing countries, remained unable to cope and that is the discrimination in education systems.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” Nelson Mandela
Women constitute half of the world’s population however they are still struggling to get an equal footing along with the men, and educational system has no exemption. According to CEDAW (Convention of all forms of discrimination against women), gender discrimination is any distinction made by sex which may impair the execution of any right by women. There are many causes which lead to gender discrimination in the education system.
Firstly, the prejudice against the women is one of the reasons in the developing countries which hinder them to compete for the dominant male environment. This prejudice causes to make a pre-judgment about the capabilities of men and women and formation of the negative attitude towards women. Thus, the formation of this pre-judgment tends to generate the negative attitude towards women. It generates negative feelings and classifies the women in the category of ineffective. Thus hampers the chances that they might be treated equally in the education systems.
Secondly, the cultural and the societal traditions which require women to remain engaged in the domestic chores and the sex roles assigned by the societies makes it useless for the girls to be treated equally in the education system. The attainment of education in the developing country for women is treated as a hobby and not for any productive purpose because at the end of the day they have to indulge in their domesticated chores, rear children and to become housewives where their 24/7 days work shall remain undocumented.
Thirdly, the biological issues also play an important role in treating women differently in the educational system. In the developing countries, women are considered handicapped due to their physical weakness as compared to men. By these issues, women are often restricted to obtain education related to various professions they might be interested in.
Fourthly, According to (Balatchandirane, 2003), the ration that women are illiterate to men is 60 percent in Asia. The inequalities that the education systems offer for women surround various issues, they range from accessibility to go to school to competing school. Research studies also suggest that the estimated enrolment rate for girls is 20 percent less as compared to the boys in South Asia.
Finally, there are also flaws in the eduction systems of these countries as well which cause the gender discrimination to creep into the system. These include, the divide between the government and the private system creates a gap in the unified policies within the country. The private systems bear high cost and are expensive but are the system that provides quality education. On the other hand, public education systems are not up to the mark as proper funding is not provided by the governments of developing countries to uplift their education system. Thus in this situation, the affluent families can only afford a quality education for their children and often the male child is selected for this privilege. Not only this, but the within the institutions there arise many issues which deviate the attention of the management from these core issues. The internal issues with the education systems of the developing countries include the lack of resources such as budget and the adequate infrastructural facilities. Also, the lack of proper training facilities for the staff so that they must avoid gender discrimination among those students who are available to them. Further, the low income causes the staff to find other means of earnings. Thus, being underpaid, they remain unable to deliver their maximum potential. Student politics also plays an important role. The education systems in the developing countries also face the negative effects of politicization of the student wings which they remain unable to control. Thus any developmental activity to curb the gender discrimination at times is hindered by such groups.
The issue of gender discrimination has been able to receive considerable attention in the past. Various international organizations are specifically working to eliminate discrimination of gender from the educational institutions as well. As a result of this various initiative have been taken such as preferential treatment of the neglected gender. To protect women from discrimination of any sort, quotas have been introduced in certain developing countries such as India and Pakistan. So their accessibility can be ensured. Further, they are also encouraged to participate and complete their educational requirements by offering them preferential treatments. Further, the major issue in incorporate the complete pool of male and female human resource in the education system is the lack of infrastructure and funding available to the institutions which can only be overcome by increasing the percentages of the national budget allocated for the uplifting of women and for removing any sort of discrimination against women in the education system. An international organization such as United Nations has introduced sustainable development goals which incorporate the gender equality as one of its major goals. This goal of gender equality covers all domains where the equality must be ensured. Various, developing countries are bound to comply with these goals and are required to work on these goals to attain positive outcomes.
In a nutshell, it can be said that certain parts of the world are still struggling with the discrimination in the education system. This discrimination hinders the individual to utilize his/her maximum potential. The result of this discrimination not only affects the individual but ultimately the society as a whole. The results are grimmer in the case of discriminating by gender because by excluding half of the population from the mainstream and by depriving them to strengthen their foundation so that they could build their future, means depriving the society to progress up to the extent which it deserves.
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