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.”
In educational institutions, inequality is often related to access and outcomes.
Educational Inequality In the Past
The selection of students in many areas is based on social class and status is the ranking of individuals and groups on a social hierarchy. This ranking depends on the honor, prestige, wealth, and property held by an individual or group in society. In social stratification, inequality is based entirely on social factors and not on biological factors. Social stratification is different in every society. For instance, the Aryan society was segregated into the Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Sudras.
Social stratification is an ancient practice. Since ancient times, there exists a difference between the rich and the poor, the landowners and the laborers, and the like. This has led to the practice of social stratification and inequality even in the modern age.
The caste system in public educational institutions is based on the transmission of lifestyle, hereditary, and endogamy that involves a hierarchy of status, occupation, and customary social practice of exclusion that revolves around purity. In ancient India, there existed a practice called ‘untouchability’. Individuals who belonged to low caste were not allowed to enter temples and were treated with discrimination. They were considered to be impure and therefore, regarded as untouchables.
Religious inequality is one of the most common forms of inequality when it comes to admission to educational institutions. Stronger religious communities hold power and dominance over relatively weaker communities which arises conflict and communal disturbance in society. It leads to social problems such as communal conflict, religious hate crimes, differences of opinion, and violence that would not be present had there been no religious stratification in the society. This segregation leads to inequality in rewards and opportunities and the discrimination of minorities.
Educational Inequality in the Modern Age
The types of inequality in private schools are as follows:
Inequality on the grounds of gender is pretty common even in today’s age. Male teachers may be more partial toward female learners while some female teachers may be more partial toward male learners.
As a result, it leads to many consequences such as the unequal treatment of rich and poor. The poor people or those belonging to the low social face discrimination and receive unequal opportunities and rewards.
The family background of the learners also plays a critical role in their teaming as teachers who are familiar with the parents of the learners may give them special treatment.
The income of parents is a huge determining factor when it comes to equality in education as those with high income can enroll the kids in good schools and they may also receive preferential treatment.
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. However, in inequality, there may be an unequal distribution of the same.