The words equity and equality are often confused with one another and used interchangeably, but it is essential to take note that they are two different terms having different meanings. In educational terms, equity refers to the situation where every student is facilitated with the necessary resources for the acquisition of the basic skills of reading, writing, and simple arithmetic. The educational success of the students is measured in society by its outcome, not the resources that have been invested in them.


Educational equity refers to the educational system given to each student according to what he or she needs to perform at the desired level.


According to Gunn (2018),

“Equality is the provision of equal treatment, access, and opportunity to resources and opportunities. Essentially, everyone gets the same thing, regardless of where they come from or what needs they might have.”

Differences Between Equity and Equality in Education

The main economical differences between equity and equality in education are as follows:

Means and End

Equity is concerned more with the means whereas equality puts more emphasis on the end.


Equity is characterized by the virtue of being impartial and just to all learners regardless of their economic background whereas equality is characterized by the treatment of all learners at the same level.


In the context of equity, the distribution of education resources and access is fair whereas equality ensures that it is even.


Equity acknowledges the economic differences existing between the learners that aim to eradicate the unequal distribution of opportunities whereas equality’s main function is to treat all learners equally.


Equity makes sure that all learners have what they need regardless of their economic background whereas equality ensures to provide everyone with the same resources.

These are the major economic differences between equity and equality in education. In educational institutions, equality is often related to access and outcomes. Equality ensures that every student has equal access to a high-quality education regardless of their social background. It also ensures that all students are accountable to the same standards and objectives without taking into account their circumstances, abilities, or experiences.