The world we currently live in presents situations where unjust actions are continually being normalized. In other cases, they are standardized, and inequality becomes institutionalized even when it is apparent that these policies are, in essence, illegal (Dronkers 45). I can attest to the fact that social injustice remains a modern-day plague as I fell victim to it while going through the inner-city public school system. Although we believed the typical facade that the education system was a level playing field, there still existed a vast chasm between students. The reality on the ground was that students enrolled in a public school, like I was, end up missing out on most of the lucrative opportunities that life has to offer. This inequality stems from a system of discrimination that separates the students based on their academic achievement. Looking back, I remember how such injustice manifested itself. On the one hand, we had regular students who were the majority and would always wait for the school bell to ring so that they could head home. On the other side of the divide, there were honor students engaging in academic discussions.The presence of such a system would ensure that these select few would achieve more due to the advantages accorded. The rest lack this opportunity and have to put up with a substandard curriculum that they are expected to master just to get through school. In this essay, I will discuss the social injustice ingrained in the education system, its effects and possible remedies for the problem.
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The barefaced inequality that is often witnessed in inner-city public schools stems from lack of resources to deal with a fluctuating number of students. In most cases, there is a pitiable student to teacher ratio in crammed classes. The general expectation is that these teachers would pay equal attention to all the students, but this is rarely the case. For instance, our teachers would focus more on the quick learners, while slow learners were rarely shown any attention. Through such this form of discrimination, the latter’s grades would suffer periodically and in essence, put them at a disadvantage. Researchers contend that children are most impressionable when young due to their cognitive development stage. Most of these schools lack the most basic of resources which is shocking, considering that they are widespread around the country. They are also mostly underfunded and the main reason why a large number of their students lack holistic education. As a result, most of the students I studied with lacked a fair chance to compete with students from both state-funded schools and their peers in “special programs.” Moreover, teachers make a habit of advising parents of high-achieving students to enroll them in other supplementary classes, maybe even an online course, which would then enable them to be ahead of the other students. Students who are unable to afford such luxuries are left struggling through their remedial lessons. The chances are that these students also lack internet at home as compared to their counterparts whose patents can afford to hire a private tutor.
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The educational inequality that presents itself when parents enroll their children in public schools while still making efforts to boost their grades through the introducing additional programs effects those who cannot afford them negatively. A student receiving private tutelage perpetuates this inequality by benefiting from the opportunity they get at a public school. They create unfair advantage especially when most of their schoolmates cannot afford them. As a result, they get better grades in comparison to their counterparts. The are also able to take up extra classes in local colleges which would enable them to obtain a “smart start” regarding their competitive advantage is concerned. These students receive all the opportunities one would require to be successful in high school and the reason why they easily qualify to join prestigious universities. For this particular group, success is guaranteed due to the highly marketable courses that they pursue. Nonetheless, the same cannot be said for the average students who teachers did not pay attention. The only chance that they have is being able to graduate from their local high schools with the most requisite of skills. Community college or a local vocational school becomes the only options if they are to make any academic progress. I have personally been witness to the effects of this state of inequality when most of my former schoolmates from the public school system were not able to meet the university requirements. Most of them knew that it would e difficult for them to get decent jobs and had to settle for menial employment opportunities in life. The only chance that they are accorded with is graduating from their local high school with requisite skills, proceeding to a vocational school or community college where their chances at a decent job are quite low.
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One of the most effective techniques to end this inequality would require the retraining of teachers on handle their students. They would now be needed to improve their method of instruction that will see all the students receive equal attention. It would be prudent for all the students to study in the same classroom as this would end any institutionalized discrimination. Increasing funds for public schools will also be a significant step in ensuring that there is social justice in the education system. Teachers will be empowered through unique programs that would now enable them to meet the needs of all the students succeed. Furthermore, an increase in the number of teachers would ensure that their student to teacher ratio is fulfilled, which is essential in providing that the teachers are not overwhelmed with the number of students that they would have to tutor. It creates an environment where the teachers can focus on providing holistic education to all those under their care with the sole goal of ensuring that no student is left behind (Holsinger and Jacob 12). These funds would also benefit the school in general as they would now be able to provide the much-needed learning resources that are required by students to enable them to study. Students require furniture, learning materials, books and stationery which are quite costly. Increasing the amount of money that these inner-city public schools get will ensure that they can bear the cost of these necessities while creating an enabling environment for all students.
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In conclusion, the grouping of students according to academic performance is a social injustice that many have had to endure. There are those who benefit more from such a system while others are left leading average lives and barely getting by. It is therefore essential for policymakers to avoid such scenarios by ensuring that they create a setting where parity prevails.
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