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Equity and Diversity: Catalyzing Modern Education

Arpana Bohra, Academic Coordinator at JAIN International Residential School, Explores the Transformative Impact on Today’s Schools

Equity and diversity are more than educational buzzwords; they are foundational pillars reshaping modern education. Arpana Bohra, the Academic Coordinator of the Cambridge Lower Secondary Programme at JAIN International Residential School, Bengaluru, provides insightful analysis into how these principles are integrated into schooling systems to foster inclusivity and fairness across diverse student populations.

Since the advent of civilization, mankind has been striving for equity in the diverse world. The quest for justice and fairness has served as a guiding force in shaping our societies. India is a mosaic of myriad languages, cultures, faiths, and socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds hence it is imperative to prioritize diversity and equity into the social fabric and primarily in the realm of education. The world is moving at a faster pace working towards providing equal rights and opportunities to all. Many countries have now enacted laws to promote gender equality in the workplace. It is ensured that every gender has similar opportunities for career advancements and fair pay. Inclusivity in education ensures children with disabilities get access to equal learning opportunities as their counterparts. Equity guarantees access to resources based on the unique challenges faced by a person. 

Diversity involves embracing and respecting the uniqueness of an individual in aspects such as educational background, socio-economic status, cultural practices and religious beliefs. It merely does not include acceptance but also involves fostering an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and respected.  

Equity and diversity aid in bringing individuals with varied backgrounds, experiences and perspectives together and work towards bigger and sustainable goals, however; it is an ongoing and continuous process. In the modern era these forces act as a catalyst for change as they challenge the archaic norms and pave way for changes. Schools are the safe havens and developmental arenas to inculcate these virtues. When students learn to accept diverse perspectives, they break down the barriers of inflexibility and narrow mindedness. Practicing equity makes a student conscious of the societal, bygone, and contemporary aspects that contribute to inequality. Equity and diversity cultivate critical thinking as students learn to delve deeper rather than complying with surface information.  

Akin to corporations, educational institutions at all levels (primary, middle, high school, as well as higher education institutions), must consciously practice diversity, and equity to maximize the nation’s demographic dividend for economic growth and to foster an inclusive and sustainable society. Incorporating parental support is a crucial component of ensuring the success of DE in schools. Some educators have embraced inclusive pedagogical techniques, which seek to establish fair learning settings where all students feel valued and included. This might entail setting up areas like “safe rooms” for candid conversation as well as using inclusive language and a variety of reading resources. Considering India’s dedication to social justice, inclusivity, and fair access to education, initiatives to advance DE in its educational institutions are probably going to keep changing. Nonetheless, issues with infrastructure, cultural norms, and budget limitations can still have an impact on how quickly and successfully DE programs are implemented in the Indian educational system.  

The advancements in digital technology are bringing about whirlwind changes across numerous domains.  Learning at school should integrate multilingual resources, online discussions and forums and adaptive learning technology to cater to diverse needs. Teachers can facilitate this by implementing differentiated learning, culturally responsive teaching and designing assessments for various learning styles and abilities. Imbibing these values will result in a more inclusive and equitable society ensuring our constant growth and development as a nation. Research, policy improvements, and constant campaigning are needed to close this gap. Although some universities support inclusive policies for students with impairments, many still have room for improvement in ensuring accessibility and accommodating diverse needs. Resource limitations and reluctance to change are obstacles to the implementation of DE education. Institutions need to evaluate their own performance using DE measures. In addition to improving learning results, a dedication to DE develops future leaders who are compassionate and inclusive, which promotes vibrant international organizations. This dedication is essential to addressing problems and changing society. 
In embracing equity and diversity, educational institutions like JAIN International Residential School are not just teaching academic subjects but are also imparting life lessons in empathy, respect, and social justice. As we advance, the focus on equity and diversity will continue to be crucial in molding an education system that is not only inclusive but also adaptive to the needs of an ever-changing global landscape. Mrs. Bohra’s insights underscore the importance of these values in crafting educational experiences that are both transformative and reflective of our diverse societies.
Prittle Prattle News composed this article as an Interview.
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