Universal access to education
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Universal access to education is the ability of all people to have equal opportunity in education, regardless of their social class, gender, ethnicity background or physical and mental disabilities. The term is used both in college admission for the middle and lower classes, and in assistive technology for the disabled. Some critics feel that this practice in higher education, as opposed to a strict meritocracy, causes lower academic standards. In order to facilitate the access of education to all, countries have right to education.
Universal access to education encourages a variety of pedagogical approaches to accomplish the dissemination of knowledge across the diversity of social, cultural, economic, national and biological backgrounds. Initially developed with the theme of equal opportunity access and inclusion of students with learning or physical and mental disabilities, the themes governing universal access to education have now expanded across all forms of ability and diversity. However, as the definition of diversity is within itself is a broad amalgamation, teachers exercising universal access will continually face challenges and incorporate adjustments in their lesson plan to foster themes of equal opportunity of education.
As universal access continues to be incorporated into the U.S. education system, professors and instructors at the college level are required (in some instances by law) to rethink methods of facilitating universal access in their classrooms. Universal access to college education may involve the provision of a variety of different assessment methods of learning and retention. For example, in order to determine how much of the material was learned, a professor may enlist multiple methods of assessment. Methods of assessment may include a comprehensive exam, unit exams, portfolios, research papers, literature reviews, an oral exam or homework assignments. Providing a variety of ways to assess the extent of learning and retention will not only identify the gaps in universal access but may also elucidate the ways to improve universal access.
Access to Education By Law
In 2009 the House of Indian Parliament and the President of India both signed and approved a bill that would grant free law mandated education for children ages six to fourteen. It was a great step towards universal education for all. Muchkund Dubey author of the article “The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 : The Story of Missed Opportunity" discusses and highlights the issues of access, quality of education, financial implication, and discrimination.
In the United States, Brown vs. Board of Education was a landmark decision because it found and declared that, “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal”. This began the process of desegregation in many schools that had not desegregated yet. The significance of Brown vs. Board was the universal right of all students to attend educational institutions equally rather than separately based on their race. Jonathan Kozol, author of The Shame of the Nation, talks about how “physical conditions in these newly integrated schools were generally more cheerful…state of mind among the teachers and the children [was] more high-spirited” in the aftermath of desegregation.
Universal Access to education means people have equal opportunities to take part in any educational system. However, not all individuals, groups, or ethnic groups are given equal access. The United States is credited with the current idea of universal access as a concern for handicapped persons. Two international agencies (World Health Organization and World Bank) estimated that around one billion people all over the world various types of disabilities. Between 93 and 150 million of them are children. Plan International revealed that these kids will not possibly attend school and if ever they enroll will be separated from normal pupils. The Global Partnership for Education said approximately 90 percent of children afflicted by disabilities from low and middle income nations are not studying. Historically, these kids are not included in the ordinary education system and referred to special learning schools.
It is unfortunate that education up to this very day is not accessible to millions of schoolchildren globally. 72 million or more children of primary education age do not go to school. Some 759 million adults are uneducated. They do not have the knowledge needed in improving their families’ living conditions. Poverty leads to lack of education. In almost all countries (developing and developed), children are denied education as a result of inequalities that emanate from health, gender, and cultural identity like religion, language, and ethnic origin. Factors associated with poverty including unemployment, illiterate parents, and ailments increase the possibility of non-schooling, and dropout rates. Universal primary education has turned out as a major problem for many nations. Majority of these developing states do not possess sufficient financial resources to build schools, provide books and other materials, and recruit, train, and pay teachers. The Sub-Saharan African region is the most affected region as 32 million African children are still uneducated. This is followed by Central and East Asia as well as the Pacific with 27 million or more. However, observers noted that universal access to education remains an attainable goal by 2030.
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Lowering standards and diverting scientists’ energy into combating phantom sexism and racism is reckless in a highly competitive, ruthless, and unforgiving global marketplace.
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