EFFICIENCY AND EQUITY IN EDUCATION
5a iv). Assess the place of Equity in Education
EQUITY IN EDUCATION
Equity is a political/social/moral principle which is concerned with “fairness” and “justice” especially with regard to allocation of resources.
Equity is not the same as equality. In some old literature, the two terms are treated synonymously. However, recent literature shows that thinking has moved from equality to equity. While equality implies the same treatment to everyone, equity demands that opportunities/resources are provided in each based on their needs. Where the need to greater, more resources should be allocated. Thus, equity means ensuring equitable opportunity and benefit as well as recognizing what to be treated equitably, some people may need more or different supports.
Equity in education is, therefore, the fair and equal treatment of all members of the society who are entitled to participate and enjoy the benefits of an education. However, equal treatment does not mean the same treatment.
Equity in education can be discussed at two levels. One, equity in the education sector (in terms of access, participation, performance) and, two, the role of education in enhancing equity (equality) in society. With regard to the latter, education enhances equity in society in two ways.
- Education affects upward social mobility-particular population groups move occupationally or geographically
- Education affects equity via changes of the earnings structure or the number of people belonging to a given income class-stratification of earning by education level.