The Right to Quality Education in the US and Elsewhere- Just for the Rich?
The prevailing standards in the educational system today inherently favor those who are socially, culturally and economically advantaged. Claiming that the government has done all that it could to improve the educational system is letting the authority evade the responsibility of maintaining a competitive and a stimulating environment in schools and universities that all students are entitled to. Fairness in selection criteria and better training for teachers is what is needed to improve the educational system.
It is imperative to realize that equity is as important as maintaining high academic standards in schools. While the proponents of the ‘star system’ play down equity as merely a form of political correctness, claim that inclusion and fairness move in opposing directions, nothing could be further from the truth. The government needs to ensure that background factors such as gender, race and socio-economic factors are never the criteria for student admissions and that all students are given a chance to experience successful education, regardless of their perceived mental prowess.
Public Institutions in the US
Researchers have noticed that government run institutions, which the authorities claim to be at the fore front of providing quality education to all without discrimination, account for about 80% of the segregation and practice greater selectivity in their admission practices. Instead of letting these educational institutes evolve into independent trusts which run the risk of further aggravating the segregation problem, the government will need to take concrete steps minimize corruption among its operatives and monitor the admission process with scrutiny to prevent young pupils falling victim to social segregation.
Exhaustive training for teachers in another issue government needs to focus on if it ever plans to improve deteriorating academic environment. Teachers with practical experience in their fields of expertise should be given as much priority as educators with degrees. The achievement gap between the children of the rich and the poor is growing deeper by the generation due to the educational failure and very few of them have the necessary skills to survive in the highly competitive job market. Better equipped teachers will directly contribute to the challenge of raising the education standards and meet the basic academic standards.
In conclusion, there’s a long way ahead for the authorities before a highly integrated educational system realized which caters to the educational needs to both the well-off and the disadvantaged. It is imperative that the achievement gap between the rich and the poor is decreased in interest of a better future.
What are your views on public education, particularly in the US (or the UK) ?