With the goal of improving equity in education in three key policy domains, the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development) has proposed ten steps which would help reduce school failure, make society more fair, and help avoid the large social costs of marginalized adults with few basic skills.
To view the original research and data created by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, click here.
Education plays a key role in determining how you spend your adult life – a higher level of education means higher earnings, better health, and a longer life. By the same token, the long-term social and financial costs of educational failure are high. Those without the skills to participate socially and economically generate higher costs for health, income support, child welfare and social security systems.
So a fair and inclusive system that makes the advantages of education available to all is one of the most powerful levers to make society more equitable. Education has expanded significantly in the past half-century, but hopes that this would automatically bring about a fairer society have been only partly realised. Women have made dramatic advances, but overall social mobility has not risen and in some places inequalities of income and wealth have increased.
As ever more students go on to university or professional education, many are still being left behind. Across OECD countries nearly one in three adults have only primary or lower secondary education – a real disadvantage in terms of employment and life chances.
At the same time, increased migration poses new challenges for social cohesion in some countries while other countries face longstanding issues of integrating minorities. Fair and inclusive education for migrants and minorities is a key to these challenges. Equity in education enhances social cohesion and trust.
This Policy Brief looks at how to improve equity in education in three key policy domains: the design of education systems, practices both in and out of school, and resourcing. It proposes ten steps which would help reduce school failure and dropout rates, make society fairer and help avoid the large social costs of marginalised adults with few basic skills.