Problem

Racial discrimination in education

Other Names:
Racism in schools
Racial segregation in education
Active prejudice within education systems
Nature:
Discrimination in education based on race, colour, national or ethnic origin, leads to inequality of opportunity and causes discrimination in employment and housing. Discrimination may be a legalized form of segregation and repression (as in South Africa), or segregation may occur through ghetto situations or through the isolation of certain ethnic groups. Insufficient public funds may be allocated towards the education of dominated groups, arising perhaps from the fact that they can pay less in taxes. Certain groups may be held to be intellectually inferior and therefore not worth educating to a high level. Vocational guidance may encourage this bias on the strength of discrimination in employment and consequent lack of openings. Indoctrination to the detriment of a dominated group may be found in textbooks and in the attitudes of teachers if they are from another group. Educational policy may seek to eliminate the cultural heritage of certain groups, which may retaliate by setting up their own schools to the exclusion of other groups.
Incidence:
In 1993 a study by the USA government showed that segregation by ethnic group is once again becoming a significant factor in education. More black and hispanic students attend schools where they are in a majority than at any time since the 1960s. Some 66% blacks and 74% hispanics are in schools with few whites, with higher percentages in the major cities. Many universities in the USA are acceding to demands by students and are organizing dormitories by race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and use of alcohol. By self-segregating in this way observers believe that they lose opportunities for wider interaction among diverse groups of students. In some campuses students have requested their own lounges and social activities, even their own curriculum.
Counter Claim:
Segregated education facilitates study by enhancing small comforts such as shared tastes in music and food. More importantly it avoids exposure to racial slurs and ethnic insults characteristic of integrated facilities. Less privileged ethnic groups tend to perform better academically when they are segregated.
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
09.02.1997 – 00:00 CET