Meaning of Equality and Equity in Education

Equity in education can not be divorced from equality. In other words equality can not be meaningful without equity. They are intimately related to each other. We can not talk of equity isolating it from equality. Therefore, it is essential to talk equity with equality. Here, it must be emphasized that when we talk of equality and equity we talk in consonance with constitutional framework.

Meaning of Equality

Equality implies that before the law, every citizen is equal to another. Hence the value of equality implies that every individual must be given equal opportunity to develop his innate abilities and talents. No one should be stopped from “going up the ladder” except if he himself lacks ability to go up. There should be no discrimination between one individuals and another on any ground whatsoever in a democratic country where every citizen enjoys equal rights. It implies that:

  • The state must not discriminate between citizens on the basis of religion race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.
  • Everyone must be equal before the law.
  • There must be no discrimination on the basis of religion, caste or creed in the use of public places.
  • Untouchability must be completely eradicated.
  • Everyone must have equality in respect of fundamental rights, right to contest elections etc.
  • Every religion must be treated as equal.
  • From the religious point of view every citizen must have the right to practise and profess his own religion.

Those who have remained backward till now must be raised to the same level as others so that the unequal gap should be reduced and they should be brought at par with those who are developed in comparison to under developed. Those who must be given special facilities for this purpose include: scheduled tribes, scheduled castes, backward castes and classes, and women and children.

Thus, similar treatment to all individuals from the point of view of rights and opportunities is called equality. It also means not to deprive any individual from his right is called equality. The right of equality has been provided to all in our Indian Constitution but special concessions (facilities) have been provided to scheduled tribes, scheduled castes, backward castes and classes, women and children.

Meaning of Equity

Equity means freedom form bias or impartial treatment. Impartiality is implied in equality because equality is not possible without equity. Equity is supplementary to equality. It means providing due share to all those who has been deprived off by whatever reason or were not in a position to avail the facility which may have brought them up at par with developed people.

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