In this 21st century, it is a pity that the human species will still continue to suffer from the problems of equity and equality. The issues are pegged on superiority, values characteristics or even criteria used to elevate other human beings from the others. Well, these two aspects have been defined in different ways as shown below.
Definition of the Differences between “Equity” and “Equality
In most cases, it is seen as the state in which individuals enjoy more or less the same status within the society, in one respect or the other. This is evidenced through certain equality issues such as freedom of expression, freedom to vote, right to own property, and right to vote among other social privileges.
Others also attempt to incorporate the concept of equity in factors such as equal obligations and opportunities towards issues such as health care, access to basic amenities and education. In short, equity is used to refer to the absence of any kind of discrimination of caste/class hierarchy in the society (Brewer, 2006).
On the other hand, equality is seen to advocate for each individual to be treated fairly, regardless or his or her social economic, religious, sexual or gender orientation. It is centered toward sending issues of victimization, bullying, and harassment of any nature in the society or even the globe at large (Bannerji, 2000).
In essence, this whole debates of equality and equity rotate on the fact that both of them are closely intertwined, that is, the presence or lack of equity in a community will mean that equality can be very difficult to achieve in that particular community.
For example, if education is not equitably distributed to a particular race, gender, and state, then there may be less employment of people from that domain, thus, it be can concluded that there is no equality in job distribution. Therefore, the entire human race, especially this current generation should come together and wage a war to end the above social injustice (Brewer, 2006).
The concept of equity construct can be analyzed in terms of race, and how it has persistently continued to hinder some groups of people from attaining their goals in life. The problem of racism has been a big obstacle towards having a society with well developed skills through education.
Consequently, this has denied the United States chance to give other world economies a run for their money, in terms of human resource production. Indeed, today, the United States is experiencing the impact of having a segregative curriculum in the name of transmission-oriented that basically gave the colored students and other poor students just the basic education at the expense of the rich and white children who were accorded a more thinking-oriented curriculum in their reserved schools (Brewer, 2006).
My personal experience is based on a story of grief to the colored race in the United States, that is, the long history of racism that denied the parents and grand parents of the colored and poor people access to education mean that some sort of injustice is being exercised, in case we put these students together in the same class rooms. There are chances that the student whose parents never had proper education might not be so much interested in learning as they would lack the critical exposure to written words (Bannerji, 2000).
As we all know, the manner in which the government has continued to allocate resources towards education has been on a downward trend, that is, statistics indicate that as early as 1979, “the government could take care of around 77% of the total college fees of the student” (Brewer, 2006).
However, “in the last three decades we have witnessed these percentages drop to 33%” (Brewer, 2006). This would mean that the sons and daughters from poor families might end up in poverty because they do not have the chance to continue with their education (Bannerji, 2000).
The race factor in the education sector is also very instrumental when one attempts to explain the reason why we witness bursting prisons in the United States. Indeed, a closer look at what the New York Times termed as the ‘prison nation’, One would realize that the biggest inhabitants are the colored men and women who are the products of school drop outs (Brewer, 2006).
According to the global perspective, the United States of America is caught asleep by other countries, which are busy reviewing their education curriculum to meet the demands of the 21st century. In fact, these countries have continued to grant access to education to thousands of their inhabitants without any discrimination based on race. This can be used to explain the reason why the United States has lost ground from being the best, in terms of having the highest educated population down to the sixteenth position (McCarthy, 2005).
What the above attempts to explain is that the colored people form large population in the United States, and the numbers expected to continue increasing by 2025. Therefore, since they have not acquired education due racism, then the entire country will feel this effect. It is predicted that by 2018, the United States may fail to provide over seven million professionals from its borders to provide labor to different lines of profession (Bannerji, 2000).
Many people have argued that the reason why the United States is loosing ground as compared to other world economies is that these other countries tend to put more emphasis on heavy investment and resources that are channeled towards education while in the US the trend is downward. In addition, it is very important to note that equity when in resources allocation is highly emphasized. What happens in these countries is that more resources are channeled to schools with the neediest students (Bannerji, 2000).
The international student assessment (PISA) has been the latest proof of what race in the education sector can cause in the country. The assessment that was done in 2006, showed that the United States was struggling among the bottom ten nations.
A closer look at the statistics indicated that the poor performance was as a result of the very low mean score that the United States had, after combining the grades of the whites, Asians, and the African Americans. Therefore, it is easy to recognize the enormous role played by race towards the performance of the United States (McCarthy, 2005).
The greatest concern is the lagging trend of education achievement in the United States, that is, what was in the past could have been considered as a hub of democracy in attaining education, but it is on the contrary today.
Other countries in the world are doing very well today in terms of comparing the rate of graduation between the United States and them. It can be realized that the other countries are doing better. This can be explained that the other countries are putting a lot of resources towards the education of ancient minorities and recent immigrants into their country (Bannerji, 2000).
Shocking statistics indicate the magnitude of racism in the United States education sector. By 2005, it is only a small fraction of the African- America youths between the age bracket of 24 and 30 (McCarthy, 2005). In fact, only 17% had acquired their degree certificates (McCarthy, 2005).
They are then closely followed by “the Hispanic youths who only 11% of the same age bracket had graduated from colleges” (McCarthy, 2005). This slim percentage of educated elites among their community is not enough, and something more drastic to reduce this issue should be adopted.
The bitter truth of racism presented in the United States was put by McCarthy’s book (McCarthy, 2005 ). It is from this book where it has been argued that there was a clear cut line that existed between the sub-urban schools and the urban schools. The urban schools used almost twice the resources allocated to schools their counterparts in the suburbs.
For example, Goudy elementary school, which largely served the black continued to read books that dated back fifteen years old when the president of United States was still Richard Nixon, the impact of such under funding can prove to be very costly to the state when such schools ultimately produce half-backed intellectuals (Brewer, 2006 ).
From a very recent survey conducted across twenty states, there was a clear revelation (Brewer, 2006 ). Tangible resources that count from the size of class room to sanitation facilities to computers and even text books.
It was evidenced that among the schools, which served many students who were colored, there was considerably fewer of the above named resources as compared to those schools that had more of the white students. This can only mean one thing, performance among these schools can never be the same, thus putting the colored student vulnerable to school drop out (McCarthy, 2005).
The explanation above has been a detailed look at the state of affair in the United States of America today. As it stands, it can be concluded that a lot is still desired, that is, despite the many efforts that several individual states have attempted to introduce to stop this social injustice, the federal government would also need to provide framework, in terms of policies and legislations to assist in this matter (McCarthy, 2005).
In sum, I learnt that while the perpetuators of racism in education think that they are punishing the colored or making them appear inferior, then they are mistaken. I believe that people who are loosing the most are people from America, both whites and colored. What individuals are loosing more is their national pride and supremacy at the global level.
In fact, peace and security of the nation are at risk as the school drop outs tend to join criminal gangs and terrorize the community. Even if they are arrested, it is the taxpayers who continue to pay fore their upkeep in the prisons. Therefore, the nation can not continue this way, thus, individuals should advocate for an equitable and equal education for all.
As leaders, the main concern will be to lobby for learning and teaching systems, which accord each student the chance to have equal opportunity to good education. It is also important to put emphasis on the well being of both the teacher and student, regardless of their race tribe religion or gender. The curriculum will also be reviewed to meet the desires and demands of the 21st century.
Bannerji, H. (2000). The Dark Side of the Nation: Essays on Multiculturalism, Nationalism, And Gender. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press.
Brewer, R. (2006). Theorizing Race, Class and Gender: The New Scholarship of Black Feminist Intellectuals and Black Women’s Labour. New York, NY: Routledge.
McCarthy, C. (2005). Race, Identity, and Representation in Education (2nd Ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.