Social Justice in Education: A Critical Study

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Education aids in the process of individual personality development, enhances knowledge, skill and character-building, enables one to survive different challenges of life, adjust with the surroundings and as a whole, facilitates one to lead a balanced personal as well as social life. So to say, education is usually perceived as a positive passage to one’s progress in society; it is important for all the children of a society to receive education (Samuel, 2011). In an increasingly competitive world, parents from lower or middle class backgrounds want to ensure a bright future for their children through proper education however in the process they are caught up between the tussle of public versus private educational institutions based on parameters of affordability and quality of education. Apart from the economic background of parents and students, factors like cultural, linguistic and religious plurality also add to the complexity of the situation especially in a multi-cultural society like that of India. On the other hand, the principle of social justice claims that all persons are entitled to satisfy their basic human needs regardless of differences such as economic disparity, class, gender, race, ethnicity, citizenship, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability and health (Donker, 2013). In the context of education, social justice discusses how fairness can be maintained in the arena of education and how resources can be distributed fairly among students with special focus on marginalized students (Bull B. L., 2008). Being a ‘socialist, secular, democratic’ nation, Indian state is responsible for regulation of justice through and in education. Present study tries to fulfill two objectives. First is to assess the role and responsibilities of the state in privatization of education. Second is to examine the dynamics between individual rights and state duties especially in the context of child versus parental rights, cultural and religious rights in education. The study is theoretical in nature based on secondary data including texts, policy documents, school curricula and other relevant materials.
Supervisor: V Prabhu