Discrimination in education

Discrimination in education is the act of discriminating against people belonging to certain categories in enjoying full right to education. It is considered a violation of enunciated human rights.[1]

Like other forms of discrimination, education discrimination can also be based on ethnicity, nationality, age, sex, race, economic condition, disability and religion.

Education discrimination in different countries


Australia has a history of racial discrimination against Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders in many areas, including education. Each state now has comprehensive anti-discrimination laws that prohibit such discrimination.[2] Australia also has passed the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 that prevents discrimination against students with disabilities.[3]


Although all people are entitled to nine years of compulsory education in China, there are reports showing that minorities including people with disabilities are discriminated against in basic education.[4] An example of such discrimination that is reflected in the 2013 Human Rights Watch report is of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and intellectual disability who were denied enrollment in nearby schools due to their disabilities. Their parents then had to travel long distances from home to find a place for their disabled children for basic education.

There are also policies for geographical allocation of available sits in higher education system which led to regional discrimination in the Higher Education Entrance Examination. In China every person has a place of origin in connection to his/her birthplace, and moving or resettlement to provinces/zones other than the ones of origin are subject to receive permits from the authorities. The students subject to regional discrimination are those who managed to have a better record in the relevant exams but are denied studying at top universities due to their place of origin.


Cuba has a diverse and multicultural society and there is potentially an available arena for various forms of racial discrimination to grow. Some believe the Cuban educational system suffers from racial discrimination, especially against Afro-Cubans,[5][6] but the existence of counterparts who believe otherwise[7] can not be neglected.

In the 1960s and 1970s, when the sexual minority groups were sentenced to stay in rehabilitation camps, they automatically lost the opportunity for higher education and were bound to "re-education" by the state. In 2010, Fidel Castro acknowledged such discrimination during his rule, regretting that he did not pay enough attention to the “great injustice” suffered.[8]

Islamic Republic of Iran

After the Islamic revolution, Bahá'í students have been systematically expelled from Iranian universities on grounds of religion.[9]

United States

In the United States there has always been institutional discrimination, we are now in the year 2016 and we can still see how there is very high discrimination rate. Discrimination in education is not only performed by one individual but by big organizations too. Discrimination can even be performed by a teacher which might have higher standards for one students then the other. Segregating schools is a way in which students low income students are been isolated from higher income students and that causes them to have a much less efficient education. In 2004 many schools had a very disproportianed number of minority students specific schools, in a Seattle neighborhood were the population was 95 Caucasian the schools population was 99 percent black and hispanic. (Kozol, 22)[10] In San Diego CA there is a school with the name of Rosa Parks that as 86 percent of students that are black and hispanic with only 2 percent white, and in Los Angeles CA there is a school that bears the name of Dr. King and it is populated by 99 percent black and hispanics. (Kozol, 24)[10] In the 1970s when the number students attendting New York's schools where still substantially white the number of doctors was around 400 as the number of white students started to decline so did the number of doctors available to attend the needs of students. By 1993 the number of doctors had been cut down to 23 and most of them were part time doctors, children in the Bronx where all this doctors had been removed from were 20 more times more likely then those children living in the city to suffer from asthma. (kazol, 42)[11] Another clear example of discrimination that Occurs today not just on the past is also clearly seen based on how each students is categorized with a price tag on them a soon as they started attending school. The students living in a ow income community with low income families are valued are a lower priced then students that attend rich a schools and live in a higher class community. What this labeling means is that is you are born in a low income community you might received for example $8,000 a year but if you are born in a rich community and attend a school at a rich community you might be receiving $16,000 a year for school education. "In 1998 , New York's Board of Education spent about $8,000 yearly on the education of a third grade child in a New York City public school". (Kozol, 45)[12] If you were to to lift that same child and put them in a typical white suburb of New York he/she would be worth about $12,000, if you were to pick that child up once again and put him/her in one of the wealthiest white suburbs of New York their price tag goes up to $18,000. (Kozol, 45) [12] This labeling of students and how much they will be receiving towards school education is clearly an example of discrimination and a way in which the poor stay poor and the rich keep getting chances to get richer. Teachers at schools also get discriminated, the wages they get pay in a low income school is far less then those working in wealthy neighborhoods, the conditions in which schools are maintain is also discrimination because students can't learn the materials and score good in tests if they don't have the proper teachers, proper materials, proper nutrition and adequate class rooms. All of this examples that got mentioned are clearly explain with much more detail information in the book The Shame of The Nation by Jonathan Kozol.

There is discrimination in Education, among schools who are in areas of lower income (generally students of color). In The Shame of the Nation by Jonathan Kozol, he provides us with examples of students who come from lower income residences attend school with required work related workshops, instead of AP classes.[13] Kozol provides us with an example of a student named Mireya, a black student, who wanted to be a doctor or a social worker, but was required to take a sewing class as well "Life Skill" class (Kozol, 178).[14] In addition Mireya had plans to attend college, Kozol asked the teacher why she was not able to skip these subject and take classes that would help her pursue her college goals, Kozol was faced with the teachers response "It isn't a question of what students want. It's what the school may have available (Kozol, 179).[15] Mireya was face with a confrontation of another student that made a claim "You're ghetto-so you sew!" (Kozol, 180).[16] From this example students of color who are also low income, attend school that appear to be programed to get them to the workforce (job). As opposed to other privileged schools who are able to provide their students with AP classes, getting them ready for college.

See also


  1. "Convention against Discrimination in Education 1960, Paris, 14 December 1960. United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (unesco), definition". June 2015.
  2. "Human rights". Attorney-General of Australia. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  3. "Disability standards for education". Attorney-General of Australia. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  4. "As Long as They Let Us Stay in Class" Barriers to Education for Persons with Disabilities in China (PDF). New York: Human Rights Watch. 2013. ISBN 9781623130343.
  5. "Race as a Challenge to Cuba's Educational System- Havana times". October 2013.
  6. "For Blacks in Cuba, the Revolution Hasn't Begun- The New York Times". March 2013.
  7. "Cuba Has No Racial Discrimination- Havana times". April 2013.
  8. "Fidel Castro regrets discrimination against gays in Cuba- The Telegraph". September 2010.
  9. "Bahá'í student expelled from Iranian university 'on grounds of religion'-The guardian". February 2013.
  10. 1 2 Kozol, Jonathan (2005). The Shame of The Nation. New York: Crown Publishers. p. 24. ISBN 1-4000-5244-0.
  11. Kozol, Jonathan (2005). The Shame of The Nation. New York: Crown Publishers. p. 42. ISBN 1-4000-5244-0.
  12. 1 2 Kozol, Jonathan (2005). The Shame of The Nation. New York: Crown Publisher. p. 45. ISBN 1-4000-5244-0.
  13. Kozol, Jonathan (2005). The shame of the nation : the restoration of apartheid schooling in America (1. ed. ed.). New York: Crown Publ. ISBN 1-4000-5244-0.
  14. Kozol, Jonathan (2005). The shame of the nation : the restoration of apartheid schooling in America (1. ed. ed.). New York: Crown Publ. p. 178. ISBN 1-4000-5244-0.
  15. Kozol, Jonathan (2005). The shame of the nation : the restoration of apartheid schooling in America (1. ed. ed.). New York: Crown Publ. p. 179. ISBN 1-4000-5244-0.
  16. Kozol, Jonathan (2005). The shame of the nation : the restoration of apartheid schooling in America (1. ed. ed.). New York: Crown Publ. p. 180. ISBN 1-4000-5244-0.
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