By Zahra Farooqi
Educational equity has been a pressing issue not only in the United States, but even worldwide. As education has continued to advance over the past century, so has the gap in educational access.
Educational equity is defined as the ability for students to receive equal educational opportunities regardless of circumstantial differences. Everyone is given equal opportunity for gaining the necessary education to help them in the collegiate and even graduate level. However, we are currently still facing a struggle in the ability to maintain educational access.
Whether we realize it or not, statistics show the growing gap in educational access. According to a February 2018 study by National Center for Education, first generation students are more than twice as likely to stop out within three years (33%) than students whose parents have a bachelor’s degree (14%). Simply due to the education of one’s parents, the current education system causes one to be more at an advantage academically than others. Additionally, this lack in equal educational access creates a domino effect as people who do not receive as adequate of an education may face insecurity of basic needs.
You may be wondering, why is this issue so important? The answer is actually a lot more complex than you may imagine. The effects of educational access stem so much beyond the ability to understand certain arithmetic and reading concepts. Having a good education improves language skills, strengthens economically disadvantaged communities, and improves inclusion. By increasing educational access, different backgrounds are able to use their differences and further contribute to causes they are passionate about without the worry of being at a disadvantage due to lack of education.
Now that we know the problem surrounding educational equity and its significance, the real question is, what can we do to close the gap in educational access. First of all, improving education regarding the topics of diversity and inclusion is an impactful first step in helping individuals to understand the role of differences in strengthening our community. Additionally, organizations such as Glitter of Hope have played a major role in improving educational equity in different aspects.
Glitter of Hope’s mission in providing resources to refugee orphans from Asia and Africa has included a combination of food, shelter, emotional support, and helping students catch up on education. These extraordinary efforts have allowed more children to gain increased access to basic needs and an education that they may not have otherwise had. If you would like to get more involved with this amazing organization, please fill out the form at https://www.glitterofhope.org/get-involved.