Equity and Inclusion in Education: The new OECD report

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is made up of 35 states and works toward coordinating the social and economic policies of those member states and toward international cooperation strategies, paying special attention to education.

Given the growing inequality that is occurring in education within the states that comprise the OECD, the institution presented a report called Educational Opportunity for All in December which indicates many factors that influence educational development for young people and for adults. It also proposes a strategy for each respective government to follow in order to improve equity in the future.

Data from the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) was used to create this report. These studies are based on a series of academic performance tests taken by 15-year-old students. They serve as an indicator for determining the level of the different educational systems of the world.

The results of these tests gather overwhelming information related to the social background of the family, especially in relation to the parents. When parents lack elementary education, only 15% of their children successfully obtain higher levels of education. Along the same lines, up to 64% of young people finish university if at least one of their parents has reached higher education.

What are the main aspects analysed in the OECD report?

In general terms, the report analyses the way in which different countries make advances in educational equity with emphasis on the opportunities that should be offered to the most disadvantaged social sectors. This is divided into five chapters:

Chapter 1: Overview: Towards equitable learning opportunities throughout life

This chapter summarises the context of the report, thematic differences into which the report is divided, and important factors and policies that affect educational development.

Chapter 2: Accumulation of disadvantages over the life course

This section indicates the degree of inequity that exists between people according to their social context by describing a series of indicators related to educational equity throughout life. To conclude this chapter, key factors for making improvements in the future are provided.

Chapter 3: Start by investing in education

This section discusses the fundamental importance of investing in education focussing on Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC).

Chapter 4: Support low performers and disadvantaged schools

This section concentrates on students with low levels of academic performance and on disadvantaged schools. It highlights the importance of access to schools and the opportunities that the students can have in the future. It also proposes ways to combat inequality and to support centres of education that need it.

Chapter 5: Provide second learning chances for adults

This last section emphasises the need to provide adults with more educational and training opportunities. This relates to jobs and alludes to the barriers that exist in terms of participation and performance. It concludes with proposals to support and increase employability for adults.

OECD’s concern for educational equity is more than justified. It is a key factor in social cohesion that also affects economic growth. Success when it comes to applying proper educational measures allows individuals to reach their full potential. This, in turn, allows them to help and to benefit others.

You can take a look at all of the technical aspects and information by accessing the full report from the OECD website. Here you will also find graphics and outlines containing interesting data and statistics.

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