The right to education implies a human right for compulsory free primary education accessible for all children. Moreover, it suggests free accessible secondary education, as well as equal opportunities for higher education. Ideally, it implies the introduction of free higher education. Despite the attempts and suggestion for developing accessible education at all levels, there is an excessive number of children, who are prevented from proper education. There are a number of reasons for preventing children from effective education, including economic state, health issues, and racial issues, in particular. The right to education implies access to education for all people. However, the topic of racial discrimination is still relevant. The paper outlines the nature of the problem, the current situation, legal background, and the ways of improvement of the situation. The topic is essential, as far as education plays an important role in the future success in life, as well as defines a personal income, health state and other aspects of life. Thus, in case if a person has no proper access to education, it may have an adversary effect on the future perspectives.
Equity in education is the dimension of opportunity, fairness, and achievement in education. Hence, the education and access to it for various layers of population is a great concern of the human rights protection institutions, such for instance UNO, HR Watch, Amnesty International, OXFAM, and ACLU (and its conventions on human rights and access to education). As a consequence, reducing the discrimination in terms of access to education is a matter of concern of every citizen – only in such a way the problem can be solved on the world arena. This issue includes the various categories of actors: racial and ethnic minorities, segregation groups, public authorities, etc. By this, the discrimination-exposed groups are impacted the most. This measure includes two major aspects. The first aspect is fairness, which is connected to particular individual conditions and its interference with education. In fact, personal conditions must not be an obstacle in the way of academic achievements. Inclusion is the second aspect of equity, which implies a particular extensive standard, which is applied to every individual in a specific education system. These aspects are interconnected and have an impact on the academic success.
Nowadays, education equity receives an increased attention. Primarily, education equity has a direct influence on a personal success in life, as far as the future quality of life depends on the level of education a person receives. Consequently, educational system, which is based on education equity, is the ground of prosperous and fair society. Despite the struggles to establish the full equity in education, inequality is still a prevailing issue. Thus, racial inequity depends on a variety of factors, including gender, economic condition, disability, and race.
Fair and accessible education is one of the ways of making society more equal. In fact, the opportunities for receiving the education have grown during the second half of the last century. Unfortunately, this expansion did not lead to a fairer accessible education system. Nowadays, many students decide to continue their education at the universities. Despite this fact, in OECD states one in three people have received the only secondary education. The absence of higher education tends to reduce the employment opportunities.
Moreover, the prevailing issue is the integration of ethnic minorities in an educational process. While some countries begin to experience this challenge due to migration increase, other states have been facing the problem of education equity for a long time. Fair education for ethnic minorities is the core of this problem. It is essential to overcome the racial inequity in education, as far as equality is beneficial for tolerant and trustful society.
The ideal image of society, where everyone has equal opportunities still exists only in planning and recommendations. The race issue still has a great impact on the attitude of people. In the recent past, this division has become even more evident in the sphere of higher education. The educational opportunities have become a great concern for the ethnic minorities, as far as educational disadvantages are still visible.
There is an assumption that the gap in academic achievements existing between white and minority students is not connected to the race issues. Thus, it is suggested that low academic performance of minority students is the consequence of the lack of effort, cultural background, and genetics. However, the real situation lays in the fact that low academic achievements of minority students are the result of racial inequity in education, which is caused by the lack of access to essential educational resources, well-planned curriculum, and competent teachers.
The problem of racial inequity in education is closely connected to the financial support. Thus, there is a tendency for the ineffective spending of money in the educational sphere. The study has shown that students, who visit schools, which are aimed to achieve equity, are characterized with the better performance in academic progress. The academic achievements also depend on a number of students in a class, the size of the school, the competence of teachers, and curriculum structure. For instance, the study by Amin denotes that classes which are comprised of more than 20 people show the less advantageous and positive performance. The classes which consist of more than 20 students are the most unproductive. However, the classes which are attended by no more than 15 students express the best performance of the academic progress. Consequently, children studying in accordance with the challenging curriculum, in a small school and class, under the guidance of qualified teachers tend to demonstrate better results. Along with this, the study depicts the percentage of the level of equity in the classes. If the classes contain the students who are likely to become a subject of discrimination (regardless of its type), the performance in these groups can fall almost by two times. The classes which are homogeneous in their composition are more productive and produce better performance.
It should be stated that in a great number of cases economic state has an influence on the quality of education a person receives. It is evident that students from ethnic minorities are less likely to receive these opportunities. Schools, where the majority of students are representatives of ethnic minorities, have a tendency to occupy the bigger sizes. Moreover, the classes are large, as well, and the curriculum is badly designed. The teachers in such schools appear to be underqualified. In the majority of cases, they lack training and certification in the subject they qualify in.
The right to education also presupposes the high qualification of teachers. In some cases, these teachers even do not have a degree in the area. They have also proved to be unable to design an effective curriculum, manage a class properly, teach their subject in an interesting way, engage students in academic activities or motivate them for effective commitment. Consequently, there is no need in telling that these teachers do not try to understand the needs of their students, the way they develop and learn, the methods of stimulation or support, as well as consider individual approaches to studying and learning styles. Instead, they tend to blame students for their low achievements.
According to these findings, racial discrimination is a great issue in today’s educational system. Minority students do not receive proper education starting from the initial point of their studying. Unfortunately, they are more likely to study in a school with worse conditions for learning and be assigned with a low-qualified teacher. These teachers are not interested in giving their students decent knowledge and preparing them for future life. In this way, even if children have talents and skills in some field, they are not developed. This attitude to an education of minority children has an impact on academic achievements. What is even more important, it violates the human right to education, as far as not all children are provided with equal resources and opportunities.
What concerns the human rights and legislation, the term racial groups, race equality, and the race itself is official and is widely deployed. However, the correctness of these terms may be argued. From the biological perspective, the human species is not further divided into subclasses and implies only one species. Thus, it is incorrect in some way to deploy the term defining the racial differences.
Racial equity in education suggests the students attending schools, as well as their acceptance without biases, including race issues. Consequently, the students of all races have an opportunity for attending schools and taking part in all the types of educational activities and programs. In fact, the attitude to racial issues in education differs from one state to another. For instance, in the United States exists the Commission on Equity and Excellence in Education. It is a declaration, which is aimed at providing educational equity for all students.
Another example includes Scotland, which has published the Race Equality Toolkit. The document includes a range of obligations concerning racial equity, which the Scottish universities should meet. It is created in order to enhance the awareness of the staff of the equity subject and promote a positive attitude among students. The introduction of documentation based on the racial issues is essential for the sector of higher education, as far as higher education establishments have a significant impact on the preparation of people for future life, and creating values. Thus, the equity in education plays an important role in forming the attitude to ethnic minorities.
Hence, the issue of racial discrimination and education access appear to be on the global arena. Education is one of the human rights which guaranteed by the majority of the world organizations such as UNO, etc. The equity in education should manifest in the way that all the national minorities, ethnicities and racial groups have to be provided with the equal right to education to have a chance to develop their knowledge and skills and be able to succeed in the future. Hence, the national minorities, ethnicities and racial groups are the categories which are involved to the greatest extent in the issue of the right to education. Everyone should care about this issue to ensure the proper functioning of democracy and human rights in the society both at local and global levels. Only under these conditions, the discrimination (regardless of its type and aims) will be reduced.
Critique and Steps for Improvement
Having the situation analyzed, it is possible to come up with the necessary critique to single out the steps for improvement. It is evident that the attempts have been done to reduce the racial inequity in education. However, according to the data provided above, it is obvious that the problem still exists. Due to the lack of control over already existing legal suggestions, the effect is not visible yet. In the majority of cases, legal suggestions exist only as a formality, not an obligatory point to consider. Moreover, the legal basis of the human rights problem is not an essential aspect. The personal attitude has a greater impact on the perception of the issue.
The changes in the sphere of education concerning the racial inequity issues should be introduced on different levels. Thus, the first step to consider is the promotion of the positive attitude to a race issue. It is evident that educational establishments play an important role in forming opinions and attitudes in further generations. Consequently, teachers are those people, who should support the development of positive race relations between representatives of various racial groups. Moreover, teachers should explain the negative impact and illegality of racial discrimination on the society and relations between people.
One of the ways of racial inequity elimination is the inclusion of equality topics in the educational system and the process of learning. The equality topics should be presented as a part of learning process and teaching practice. These topics may be introduced in lessons by means of including the works of minority artists or writers, as well as emphasizing the historical aspects of equality. These methods are deployed in order to create an interest in the problem, as well as develop the concept of equality. Hence, the essential strength of the struggle is that gradually people come up with an understanding of how important to reduce the discrimination in access to education. The weakness of this struggle, however, is that the legitimate documents released require more profound revision in order to provide the certain set of actions to be done to overcome the issue.
What is more, a teacher’s duty implies creating a safe atmosphere among students, as well as reducing the achievement gap existing between students. Teachers should prevent bullying, as well. It has a negative impact on the relationships within a group, creates and even facilitates the negative attitude to ethnic minorities, as well as plays a role of a distressful factor. In fact, all the teachers have to act in accordance with a set of rules for bullying prevention.
The right to accessible free education is not always met, as far as it is not always affordable. The government should invest in primary and secondary education to make it free for everyone. Thus, the government can deploy different approaches, which will reduce dropout and low performance. These methods include the abolishment of educational practices, which facilitate racial inequity, as well as focus on schools with the lack of advantages for ethnic minorities. However, new policies should be interconnected with the existing ones to introduce the effective support and enhance student success. The changes in racial equality in education should be introduced starting from the primary schools. The early childhood services should be better inspected, as well as their effectiveness and the level of inequality. Moreover, the equal access to all levels of education should be reached. Ultimately, only the well-trained educators can work in educational institutions. The government should also check the teachers’ competence.
Finally, the society plays an important role in introducing equity in all spheres of life. It is obvious that every person has an impact on these issues, and the way they influence the world. Moreover, every opinion is essential for changing a situation. It is difficult to provide any changes individually. However, it is possible in the case, if people work together towards a specific goal. In fact, discrimination cannot be limited to the educational sphere or race. It implies a range of points, including gender, disability, age, sexual orientation, cultural or religious background, and other issues. This is why human rights should be used as a formal legal structure/regime; however, the universal acceptance is difficult to achieve. However, everyone can contribute to it by sharing the positive attitude to equity in all the aspects of life.
In conclusion, the right to education implies the access to all stages of education for every individual. Despite the attempts to introduce the universal equity in education, this goal is still not achieved. Thus, discrimination prevents people from achieving the effective education, which is essential for future success in life. The attempts have been done to introduce universal equality. However, the studies show that the issue is still prevailing. The changes should be introduction fm different levels in order to achieve better results.