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|Equity and Excellence In Education|
|The Digital Divide|
An American politician once said, "The problem with our education system is not that parents do not have a choice. The problem is that inequities continue to exist." This wise politician from the State of Hawaii is none other than Patsy Mink, a Japanese American and a member of Democratic Party, who is best known for authoring the Title IX Amendment of the Higher Education Act, which only established her goal of strengthening equal rights in the country.
It is very evident that inequities are prevalent in every society. The number of inequities grows on a daily basis as humans' progress. Anything that makes two people different becomes a possible challenge to society. But this is not how things go in this period of time. Discrimination is a noun not discreetly used and differences have become a source of isolation.
It is quite disappointing that this inequity is even rampant in academic institutions where children are expected not to learn such things. Schools are supposed to be venues where the young generation believes in the principle of compromise and equality. But as said earlier, this is not how things go.
One major equity issue in schools is the most obvious - financial differences. An American educator stated once that the largest factor that most likely foresees SAT scores is family income. If parents want their children to get do well, they should be wealthy enough to provide an education that gives such results. This American educator is Paul Houston and from his statement alone, it is not to be denied that money is a great equalizer in institutions. Though we try our best to fight this fact, it still is true: less money may mean less chance of a better education, less opportunity and a reduced potential for greatness. From this precept, it can be followed that not everyone is given an equal chance to learn. Not everyone is prioritized. Is income an indicator of educational potential or an indicator of people who work hard. That is up for debate.
Though long gone, the dispute between the social rights of woman compared to those of men, a gender inequity still exists in institutions. This is unfair not just because gender issues has been resolved before, but because education pays no regard to whether you put an M or an F in the line after the word "Sex" in application forms. Women are still cultural considered inferior to men, despite the developments in the field of learning: women now, at times, have a bigger enrollment number compared to women, women now lead organizations or societies, women now achieve honors or merits in schools. Why is this not enough for the gender to be regarded as equal to those of their counterparts? It still seems that men are more prioritized to learn and be educated because there are still those who believe that women are destined to be home-makers, to be settling for staying in the house, to be not fighting for their rights and educating themselves. But this is not how things should be. Women should be equal with men and education, as well as schools, should not be gender-sensitive.
The United States of America is a pool of different nationalities; immigrants come to the country to find a better way of living, to find the greener grass. But this is not how things go all the time, especially in schools. Racial discrimination still exists. Physical differences are easy to spot and ignorance and bias lingers in today's schools. This is disappointing because there is no such relation between one's race and their capability to be educated. As an institution, schools must address this issue as it greatly affects the students, not only in their academic life but also their social lives. And this is quite difficult for parents who wanted better lives for their children - only to discover the opposite is happening in the place they consider their second home.
Because of the changing of times, digital access has become a major equity in schools today. As related to the issue of financial inequity, not all of us have the money to obtain technologies which are used for support advanced learning. Not all of us have the money to buy laptops, to have subscription on the Internet, not everyone has access - and it undeniably tears students apart from each other and students from their education. And it is very unacceptable that the only thing that hinders students from learning further is technology, when the emergence of the latter was deemed to be a promise granted for the world.
There are many equity issues in schools today and it really should stop because if the poison comes from that medium, which it is supposed to nourish, then there is no hope for tomorrow -because as we said the tomorrow starts with the generation today.