Educational inequality is the unequal distribution of academic resources. These resources include textbooks and other teaching materials, technological infrastructure, and funds. Often, the communities that have this issue are the ones that have been deprived over a long period of time.

Educating the public on educational inequality is very important because it will give young students the opportunity to learn about the unequal opportunities that exist depending on race, income, and other factors.

Educational Inequality in the World

According to the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report published in 2020; the inequalities have increased due to the covid pandemic since at least 40´% of the countries have not been able to support young learners at risk. Only around a quarter of the countries in the world have inclusive education laws for all learners. Two countries in South America; Chile and Paraguay have been acknowledged out of the total of five countries in the world to have inclusive laws for all learners.

Education remains inaccessible for millions of children today. More than 72 million children of primary education age are not in school, and 759 million adults are illiterate and are not aware of the necessary steps to improve their living conditions and quality of life for themselves and their children. [4]

The Sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected area in the world where over 32 million children of primary school age remain uneducated. Central and Eastern Asia, as well as the Pacific, are also severely affected by this problem where the figure stands around more than 27 million of uneducated children. [3]

In addition, these regions have problems of educational poverty (a child in education for less than 4 years) and extreme educational poverty (a child in education for less than 2 years). In certain countries, such as Somalia and Burkina Faso, more than 50% of children receive an education for a period less than 2 years. [4]

Solutions for Educational Inequality

There are seven main solutions for this problem. These include:

  • The reduction of class or group distinctions among students by getting rid of the property tax as one of its primary funding sources. This has proven to be a significant driver for education inequality since by default, low-income students would always receive less. The state Governments need to create more and make provisions for more significant initiatives and budgets for equitable funding.
  • Stopping the expansion of private schools and universities since it is known that these institutions are quite costly to attend and therefore not affordable for all students. Segregation and societal class are created here.
  • Test-based funding should be deprioritized since this causes discrimination against disadvantaged students.
  • Financial support should be given to teachers and yearly increase in salaries should be a must. The rate of teacher retention would increase if higher salaries and benefits are being offered to them.
  • There should be more Investments in resources to support low-income and underfunded schools. These resources include the increase in special education specialists and counselors assigned to work in these schools.
  • More funds need to be created for education justice initiatives and work to end the over policing of minority students.
  • There should be increased efforts to reduce the influence of capitalism in the social sector and support economies that tax the wealthy at a higher rate. This will allow for adequate support and funding of the public sectors such as public education. Money can also be redirected to support for low-income families.


Educational Inequality in Belgium

A survey has been carried out by the Comac student movement which is part of a major working-class political party in Belgium to study the increase of inequality in education and other problems faced by students in the country due to the COVID-19 situation. The survey was initiated on July 4, 2020 after there has been many controversies regarding the enrolment of students in the new academic year. There were concerns among educators and other the student communities that the instant shift to online exams due to the lockdown had put a lot of students at a disadvantage since they lacked access to the internet and other related resources.

Due to the results of this survey and political pressures, a decree was passed to allow college and university students to be entitled to scholarships and other aid even if failures were recorded in their exams.

In Belgium for example, the Teach for Belgium programme which is supported by Semlex for Education, is a non-profit organization that advocates to eliminate educational inequality in Belgium by offering academic resources which includes funds to individuals to complete their educational courses.

If there are other projects that you would like to share with us, please do not hesitate to contact us!


Written by Bhoomattee Surujdin for Semlex for Education.


[1] Barshay, Jill- A decade of research on the rich-poor divide in Education-The Hechinger Report, Copyright June 2020.

[2] Martin, Jermelal-Solutions for Educational Inequality-Published by United for a Fair Economy-August 2020

[3] UNESCO (Santiago)- New UNESCO Report shows extent of global inequalities in education and calls for greater inclusion as schools re-open -UNESCO Report 2020

[4] Humanium-Right to Education-Situation around the world-Retrieved from

Leave a Reply