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Educational Equity

Table of content

1. Introduction

2. Educational Equity

3. Demographic

4. Education Background

5. Socio-economic Factor

6. Political Factor

8. Conclusion

9. References

7. Cutural Factor


It is said that the growth of a person in particular and the development of a country, in general, both depend heavily on education. A country that lacks quality education will be unlikely to rise. However, a country needs significant efforts to address educational issues, including equity. At the same time, education growth must correspond with or even exceed population growth. Only then will a country be able to look far enough beyond to cover and offer adequate education and cultural aspects.By analyzing education in the Indian context, it is better to understand the issues of educational equity and their relevance to socioeconomic, political, and cultural aspects.

Educational Equity

Definition An educational system that appropriately serves students of all types and develops their learning experience. This means that despite a student's origin, language, gender, socio-economic status, age, learning ability, condition, or family background, each student has the opportunity to get the help and support they need to achieve their learning objectives. (Western Governors University, 2021).All children, no matter their background, have a range of talents and skills, and it is the school's and teacher’s duty to encourage students to develop these by providing a variety of opportunities and learning experiences. Not all children will achieve the same outcomes but there should not be a huge discrepancy between the successes of one social group and another. (Western Governors University, 2021).


EQUITY in Education

EQUALITY in Education

Equality might still not be enough to deliver equity (Blair Mann, 2014).

Equity in education

Equity in education has 2 characteristics that are closely linked (Blair Mann, 2014).

01. Fairness

It means ensuring that personal and social circumstances do not stand in the way of realizing educational potential.


It assures that everyone receives a baseline minimum level of education. For instance, each person should acquire essential skills such as reading, writing, and performing basic math.


  • Population: India will be likely to surpass China as the world's most populous country with approximately over 1,4 billion people in 2023 (Wordometer).
  • A large proportion of young people (50% of the population is under 25 years old, and more than 65% are under 35 years old) ➢ India is a country that is always in a high state of demand for education. (Wordometer).
  • 1.5 million schools including Government, Government Aided and Private Schools (All Schools in India, 2023).

According to National Statistical Office (NSO) statistics, the average literacy rate in India was 77.70% in 2021. As of the same year, male literacy in India stands at 84.70%, while female literacy stands at 70.30%.

Source: Census 2011, National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) & National Statistical Office (NSO) data 2021 (Find Easy, 2023)

Literacy rate in Male > Literacy Rate in Females ➟ Gender gap is a big issue that India has to face.

Source: Census 2011, National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) & National Statistical Office (NSO) data 2021 (Find Easy, 2023)

Education Background

  • Education in India has a 2,000-year history. The foundations of the current educational structure lie in the country's colonial past. (Goldman et al., 2008).
  • The Gurukula educational system (Akash, 2016).
  • In the 1830s, Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay brought the present educational system to India, and therewith the English language (Akash, 2016).
  • India's independence from the British in 1948, Jawaharlal Nehru initiated significant improvements in the country's education system to satisfy the country's technical, scientific, and labor-force demands (Goldman et al., 2008).
  • The National Program for Nutrition Assistance to Primary Education was launched by the government in 1995 (Goldman et al., 2008).
  • The government launched the Movement to Educate Everyone in the year 2000. The goal of this effort was to provide universal education to all Indian people by 2010. (Goldman et al., 2008).



Cost of education

Socio-economic Factor

Gender gap

Poverty Lower-caste students may encounter harassment and exclusion, leading to lower enrollment rates and worse achievements (Chandra, 2019). It puts into context the level of knowledge loss faced by students in rural India, particularly in areas like Bihar, West Bengal, UP, and Rajasthan, which has caused gaps in the educational system and resulted in a huge percentage of dropouts, particularly among young girls (Kumar & Chowdhury, 2021). During the Covid-19 epidemic, 20% of rural students lack textbooks, and only one in ten students had access to online lectures (Annual Status of Education Report, 2021; Rukmini Banerji & Wilima Wadhwa, 2021).

Gender Gap Fewer girls go to school compared to boys: -Lack of basic sanitation for girls-Discrimination against female students based on gender and caste-Child marriage or early marriage (Madhumita Bandyopadhyay Ramya Subrahmanian, 2008)

Background The lack of appropriate education among the parents of children from lower socio-economic backgrounds means that they can not possibly grasp the value of education. Their mindset is fairly conservative and obsolete. They believe that spending time and money on schooling is time-consuming and costly. (Naushad, 2022).

Cost of Education Young children quitting school early owing to financial difficulties and a decision to work instead of attending school is the most obvious example of how socio-economic factors influence education. That can be because young people are pressured to work at home or they are so underprivileged that they are incapable of purchasing uniforms to make them feel equal to others. (Roy, 2018).

Drop out rate

Dropout Rate by Gender, Level of School Education 2021-2022 (UDISE+ Dashboard)

➟ The dropout rate increases gradually from primary to secondary school.

The following are the primary causes for dropping out of school, according to a survey of 100 young people in India (Rani & Devi, 2021)

  • expense of uniform
  • expense of stationary
  • expense of school bag
  • household activity of girls

Dropout Rate by Gender, Level of School Education 2021-2022 (UDISE+ Dashboard)

Political Factor

➠ Political decisions affect every aspect of education in India both directly and indirectly. Politics certainly impacts a country's educational orientation. It is undeniable that education and politics are intimately connected to each other. Consequently, it is always crucial to ensure that every citizen in this country has a minimum level of education. In summary, regardless of the political objective, it must always push for educational equity.

Culture Factor

Favor male children's education above female children's education, or parents may discourage their children from pursuing specific fields of study or occupations (Chanana, 2017).

Because the country is multicultural and religious, there are no norms for teaching or school and educational environments (Chakravarty, 2001).

Children raised in different cultural environments will have different thoughts and perceptions about issues in life and society. It affects the learning outcomes. (Dr. Radhika Kapur, 2018)

India is one of the countries with the greatest linguistic variety in the world. There is no official language, however, Hindi, the native tongue of about half of the people, is recognized as such by the government. English is widely used in commerce and administration and is recognized as a supplementary official language. There are additionally 122 significant languages and 234 mother tongues. (Pradhan & Hoda, 2022)



➠ In India, education is highly valued, and there is intense pressure on students to perform well academically. However, cultural norms and expectations can also create barriers to educational equity.


Overall, the socioeconomic, political, and cultural factors affecting educational equity in India are complex and interrelated. Addressing these factors requires a multi-faceted approach that involves collaboration between the government, schools, families, and communities to guarantee all students have an equal chance of success.


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