Essay: Critical view on educational rights in UK, USA and India

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  • Critical view on educational rights in UK, USA and India
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Kafoumba Doumbia says, “Education gives us a knowledge of the world around us and changes it into something better.”

Paulo Freire wrote so many books on educating children of different colonial countries, first world countries and unrecognized nations. Freire’s approach of education was to aware people about their incompleteness and gives them a proper shape of full human.

USA had constituted laws to prohibit discrimination in educational rights in 1931, UK had specified Racial Relation Acts and Amendments in 1976 and thereafter, India had constituted Articles 14-18 of EQUALITY RIGHTS as well. So, the modern scenario is federal systems of UK, USA and India has laws on educational rights. According to the jurisdiction, prohibiting people to get the basic and higher education based on race, colour and sex is a crime.

The act is in force in USA, UK and India, but there are some other facts. By following some recent case studies these three countries have difference between rights and applications. Around 24.5% of people have standard education in India, in UK the percentage is around 35 and USA around 40% of people have standard qualification.

The people of rural niches are living far away from the standard educations till date. The Human Rights Commission had spotted the lack of education in many areas of UK, USA and India. The application of Racial Discrimination Act 1975 hasn’t arrived with force in all states.

Navi Pillay, High Commissioner of Human Rights said after observing many cases on the basis of racism, “Everyone affected by racism has a story that should be heard.”
Moses Modisane wrote an article named OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM BREEDS RACISM’ the first line of the article is, “The inequalities embedded in our society and resulting racism need to be scrutinized.”

So, the aim of the research is to have a critical view on modern scenario of educational rights in UK, USA and India. The explanations on the future of education may highlight the upcoming flow whereas the discrimination panorama would compare the actual status of these three countries.


1. Introduction
2. History of education and racial discrimination with access to the right to education
2.1 India
2.1.1 Karma Dorjee & ORS v Union of India
2.2 UK
2.2.1 The case of the Brixton School.
2.3 USA
2.3.1 McLaurin v Oklahoma University case
2.3.2 Brown v Board of education case 1954
3 The future of education in the transforming world
3.1 Development of technology and impact on the society
3.2 Need for education
4 Racial Discrimination Act
4.1 Universal Adaptation
4.2 Race Discrimination Commissioner and Functions of Commissioner
5 5. The modern Scenario of racial discrimination with access to right to education
5.1 India
5.2 USA
5.3 UK
6. Conclusion
7. Reference

2. History of Education

From the Middle Ages or before that, education system was in hand of some powerful people or ruler. In India and UK education was related to the religion and the heads of the churches and temples had controlled the education. USA is a nation of many mixed cultures. There are no specific origins in USA and White Americans were more powerful in the United States. So, they had taken the baton of education and they had selected specific ones to get education.

“The history of education is all about struggle…”

People of USA, UK and India had gone through class struggles, race struggles and the struggles for equality and democracy to get the right to education.

Some landmark cases are proving that education had been questioned in different level and in vivid ways. India, UK and USA have comparatively witnessed such incidents throughout the history.
Brown v Board and San Antonio Independent School; District v. Rodriguez cases are the landmarks of 19th century’s US. In 1954 Brown v broad education case had brought a big question on equality and then in 1973 San Antonio Independent School; District v. Rodriguez had added to the question. There are many other landmark cases that had questioned the equality in education of USA several times. McLaurin v Oklahoma University case in 1950 is another landmark case that subjected the Separate -But-Equal policy of the constitution.

Comparatively India is not behind in the list. Students of north-east, Africa and other places in and out of the nation have faced the discrimination in multiple level of education. A Manipuri student died after assault in her hostel on April 17 2012, Nido Taniam a student came from North-East to read in Delhi and killed in 2014.

Racism in schools, colleges and universities is under serious discussion always in UK. A report says that racism in Universities of UK has surged 60% in 2015-16. This percentage has made on the basis of reported cases, but the survey says that unreported issues can cross the shameful figure. Make fun with accents, attack at the pub or other places, segregation in school and college premises in different ways signify that racism is still in the 21st century. In history there are some landmark cases on the basis of racism like the case of the Brixton School which had deconstructed the status quo of the European society in 2007. Here a detail report would help to go through specific nations and cultivate the case histories.

2.1 India

In a deep Panorama of the history of education in India, much information had shown that the education was entirely related to the religion. “Veda” the traditional literature of the nation had been spread among the students by the educator verbally. The schools were the temples or temple surrounding areas. In India, lower class people were strictly prohibited in the temples. Therefore, study is far away from the life of the lower class people till 17th century. At the early stage of 18th century Surendranath Banerjeee, Ram Mohan Roy and Henry Louis Vivian Derozio had initiated education with a Hindu college and at the middle of the century Lady Abala Bose had tried to include women in every stage of education. These movements had made the education social and in touch of people of different classes.

The other side of the movements is, racism in different layers of education lasted till the nineteenth century. Segregating Scheduled Tribe and Schedule Castes from primary schools had pushed the government to create different schools for such minority class students. These schools had funded by the central or state government, but the infrastructure and opportunities are very less in such schools. Therefore, the people of minority classes from different zones of India have arrived at the urban societies where the schools colleges and Universities have huge scopes of learning and making good career. Here a case study might make the discussion interesting.

2.1.1 Karma Dorjee & ORS v Union of India

The case has been petitioned for further proceedings under article 32 of Indian Constitution. The basis of the case is discrimination in different level of educational institutions against North-East students. There were so many incidents that provoked to remind the secular nation’s role. A Manipuri girl’s assault and murder, being beaten at the school premise because of not speaking Kannada and some other facts are related for proceeding. The Supreme Court had decided to create a committee to observe the North-East students throughout the nation. The committee has to observe periodically in monthly intervals for monitoring the life in campus, classroom and hostel. The report must be published in North-Eastern and National electronic journals. This committee is in action from 2014.

The case has proved that segregations’ relevance in the modern scenario of education in India and adjoined the proverb, “history repeats itself”…

2.2 UK

The scenario is quite same in UK. Education was in hand of the head of the Popes and Churches were schools. So, children of Christian origin can take that only. Non-Christians had tortured by the rulers and armed forces. Non-Christians had kept uneducated till the Robert Baike’s Sunday School Movement in 1700s. This movement brought a change, but that was not enough. Children of slams can get education from Sunday schools, but there were rural culture mainly in Britain at this period. The people of rural culture were out of the education at that time as well.

2.2.1 The case of the Brixton School.

In spite of many anti racist revolutions in the beginning of the 19th century, United Kingdom went on practising racism. There were the National front and several cases which give the evidence that though the humanist groups were practising and preaching equality and tolerance, the people were still sharing estranged relations with the blacks. There were the habits of discrimination on the basis of colour, creed or caste.

There were cases of St. Pauls’ which took over in the year 1980, cases of Noting Hill which was constituted in the year 1982 and the cases of Toxteth and Handsworth which took place the following year. Among the entire most hideous incident was constructed at Brixton. There people were effected largely by economic depression. A boy named Joey was denied school all on a sudden on grounds they said to be “prerogatory”. Joey was a regular school boy and was an average student. He read in the class seven. All on a sudden his friends started to taunt him on basis of his colour one day. This time there were the black riots all around United Kingdom as well. No one is sure how, the school authorities took these taunts as a breach of discipline and decorum in the school. What they did to amend this was instead of reprimanding the students who were bullying the boy; it was Joey who was suspended. This was a huge shock to not only his parents but also to the whole community of South London where Joey belonged to. The people of the area repeatedly requested the school authorities to admit the child further but they were reluctant to give in. This caused a large scale discontentment among the residents and that finally led to a mass appraisal against the school. The school was demolished and burnt and the children were driven out. This case clarified that the culture of silence which was being reaped in the hearts and minds of the blacks changed so soon to culture of violence and they retorted heavily on the society which further stigmatized their stand in the society.

2.3 USA

In search of the racial discrimination history with access to right to education in America, there are many examples. Segregation among children in public school, teens in high schools, youth in colleges and universities were actively accessing all over the states of America. People from Africa, Chin, Mexico and other places have brought by ships for slaving. These slaves have different zones to live and to lead life. These slaves have leaved forever in the United States after the end of slave period. This is a huge factor of mixed origin and America. In slave period American National Schools had controlled by the white Americans and probably the convention stays into the vein. The first amendment had passed in 1923 by Meyer. v. Nebraska that supports the desegregation.

After Civil War the United States of America had prohibited slavery and then white students and black students got different schools for learning. According to the separate-but-equal policy schools of black students should be funded as the schools of white students. The opportunities must be same as well, but the fact was different, schools of black students became low in that regard. Therefore, some students had tried to get good education in better schools and that brought some incidents. Two case studies can showcase the scenario of nineteenth century’s education in US.

2.3.1 McLaurin v Oklahoma University case

The appeal was to get equal opportunity in completing masters’ degree from a school supported by the state under Oklahoma University. The appellant was a Negro citizen. There are separate rows in classrooms, library and cafeteria for black students. The appellant had permission to use each and every specified infrastructure of the institution, though that right hadn’t been framed properly. Lack of loyal interpretation to get his personal rights made him an appellant of the US jurisdiction. The case has petitioned in 1950. The student had differentiated from his fellows in the institution, the student had stayed segregated always in the institution, and the student had failed to receive his rights to education, though the state constitution had opposed all the factors and announced these are offenses.

The opinion was to give the student preferable atmosphere to get higher studies.

2.3.2 Brown v Board of education case 1954:

The first documented win of the Civil Rights Movements is Brown v Board of education of Topeka 1954 case is a hallmark. The case has marked segregations of children in public schools at the states and gave a decision with 14th Amendment of US constitution. The court’s decision was, “segregation of children in public school on the basis of race is unconstitutional”. Henceforth, discrimination among children in public schools had announced to stop, but the application needed one year more. In 1955, Brown II case got the court’s decision that every state has to accelerate desegregation plan “with all deliberate speed”.

These two landmark cases had brought win to the humanity, but brought a question as well. Segregating anybody based on race, color and ethnicity, even if he or she has accomplished the study centre’s criteria, supports the humanity or not? These cases have specified the history of racial discrimination with access to right to education in US.

3. The Future of Education in Transforming World

Education was based on “3Rs” (reading, writing and arithmetic) till the last century. Katie Lepi has analysed the modern trends of the world and comparison of the education. The revised portion of Katie Lepi’s report says that, in these days education becomes much more technical and focus oriented. From the primary level the pedagogy must nurture the passion of a student. The syllabus should have vivid elementary training that would cultivate exact enthusiasm of a child and the school’s duty is to accelerate that passion along with the basic education. In 2014, Katie Lepi had discovered eight modern elements that can lead a student towards a successful life.

a) Leadership
b) Communication
c) Emotional intelligence
d) Digital literacy
e) Entrepreneurship
f) Problem solving
g) Global Citizenship
h) Team Working

Knowledge must be based on these eight elements and the student has to focus on a specific subject to acquire as many skills as he or she can. The motif of building a student perfectly is making him able to think high, able to solve critical problems in any specific field and be creative in own way.

3.1 Development of Technology and Impact on the Society

In twenty first century technology is going through another vivid transformation. The world is trying to touch the ultimate “Smartness” and therefore, the technological evaluation in twenty first century is taking a new acceleration. OECD OBSERVER published that desktops are being stronger with sensory input and output devices.
Aaron Smith says, “Americans express broad concerns over the fairness and effectiveness of computer programs making important decisions in people’s lives”.
People are depending on the technology for the most important decisions of their lives. The scenario is same in USA, UK and India.

3.2 Need of Education

According to the transformation of the world, education system should be changed vividly as well. A common factor in USA, UK and India is the cultural structure. Urban culture and rural culture are running simultaneously in these three countries. In a deep view on the cities of USA, UK and India, the education’s status would give a standard satisfaction, but the rural areas would create a shock. Lack of balance in education in the urban society and rural society is the cause of entire bad scenario.
Teacher Certification, a pioneer website that produces recent case studies, publishes, “In 21st century educators must create a curriculum that will help students connect with the world and understand the issues that our world faces.”

4. Racial Discrimination Act

Racial Discrimination Act had constituted in 1975 in Australia. This was the first legal revolution that can bring some changes to the discrimination with access to right to education. The Section 11 of the Act clearly says,

“Access to places and facilities for use by the public”.

It means nobody can prohibit a person to access schooling based on race, colour, sex, origin and in any other issues. The overall view of the act says the same thing, people of all race, colour, sex and origin has equal rights on land, housing, and employment, education, accessing public places, getting trade licence, advertising for any business and others.
Section 9 clears that anybody can’t prohibit any person from getting the fundamental rights. Section 9 of racial discrimination Act 1975, “It is unlawful to do any act involving a distinction, exclusion, restriction and preference based on race, colour, descent or ethnic or national origin…”

4.1 Universal Adaptation

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 had passed by Australian Human Rights Commission. It means the application of the Act is constituted to the federal system of Australia and the spaces that comes under the jurisdiction of Australia. The spirit of the act had taken universally.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights have article 26. “Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in elementary and fundamental stages…” is written in the Section 1 of the Article 26.

In 1989, Article 28 had constituted with all its amendments. The article’s brief,

“States parties recognise the right of the child to education and with a view to achieving this right progressively and on the basis of opportunity…”

4.2 Race Discrimination Commissioner and Functions of Commissioner

The commission can recruit a commissioner under the section 29 of the act. Human Rights Commission has included several programs for bringing more improvement at the education’s situation in the country. UK, USA and India have the Human Rights Commission and the commissioner that comes under the international authority. The duty of the commissioner is to take care of the development for schooling and spreading the education among grass root level, stop discrimination in every stages of study and investigating the current situation. The commissioner can punish the person who is doing any act that supports discrimination under the commissioner acts and rules.

5. The modern Scenario of racial discrimination with access to right to education

In the Human Rights and Education Book, “Government and public figures have expressed concern that many young people leave school after ten or more years of compulsory education…” is written.

In searching of the fact, the literacy rate of different states of India, USA and UK is not growing as expectations due to racism. The schools that are funded by the local property tax and government funds are still discouraging the students of poor areas and families. Some students are not getting chances to read in high standard national schools due to their economic conditions. The equality in education in India, USA and UK isn’t going with the constitution. The legacy of marking the minority people and differentiate from the mainstream society is still in these three nations.

In India the Karma Dorjee and ORS v Union of India case studies, torture reports on Dalits, and several incidents of brutality against north-eastern students have proved that discrimination in the 21st century’s India is playing active role.

In US two case studies, McLaurin v Oklahoma University and Brown v Board of education proves that the first world country has nurtured the racial discrimination in education. Abbott v. Burke case (1985-2011) is showcasing the discrimination history’s repetition in modern century.

UK is not behind in the list. It is in the recent times that famed sociologist Henry ford had remarked that racism and the discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity or cultural disparities remain an integral part of everyday ethnic life of the English people. Ford says that though the Englishmen appear to be more tolerant and coaxing, therein lays a deep rooted disrespect for blacks and coloured people. This is evident in the modern times as well. The case of the Maryland Minorities enumerates the stand herein taken up.

Let’s have a look on some specific cases of these nations that prove that the danger is present till today and the government’s role are not being enough for removing racial discrimination.

5.1 India

India is going through the social violence of caste and class discrimination. There are many incidents that show that police are torturing youth and children of lower class based on some false cases. Many people of rural areas are suffering due to their origin and that is leading to the brutal aftermaths that the people of the higher class are inflicting over them.

Human Rights Commission of India has obligations like;

“International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights”
“International Covenant on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination”

A case study on Indian Scenario says that, “Institutional Discrimination the many ways in which the education system denies equitable education opportunities….Dalit students to access an equal quality of education…”

It means the equal opportunity of getting standard education is absent in the country, even though Article 28 of Children’s rights to education is passed by the federal system.
In 2007 discrimination against the North-Eastern students have been reported. The case studies say that many students from this region of India had been refused to get accommodations. There were many examples of being murdered, beaten and brutally tortured that expressed the rage on the basis of ethnicity.

5.2 USA

Abbott v. Burke (NJ 1985 -2011) case reported that students that haven’t enough money are not getting chances in the schools, which are funded by the New Jersey’s school finance system.
A campaign of Fiscal Equality v. State of New York reported that the schools under New York’s school finance system haven’t the equal opportunity. Many students are away from the adequate education and court’s job is passive in such cases.

There are many more in the list that showcases the skeleton of twenty first century’s society. The Section 504, IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education) Act is in the constitution, but the scenario is not showing good application of the acts.

5.3 UK

The University of Maryland added up to a dispute in the recent times. This is one of the chief universities of London and is fame for the level of education it imparts. Pupil from all around the globe flocks in to study in this institution of fame and power. In the year 2016, a student name Danish had been denied admission in this University on the grounds that he had an African Origin. This case further shook the court of contempt and the court gave the verdict that the University has to admit the pupil on the basis of the qualification he holds and not on his colour, race or creed. Maryland University had been under dispute for refusing admittance to the African student. Their attitude and quite unsubmissive behaviour had alarmed many socio scientists and educationist as well. The court of law gave the verdict for the boy and he was admitted but this case raised a long enchanting question: is racial discrimination really eradicated from this nation forever? The case rose up points that are it only lack of education that promotes a person to lack of acceptance? When the educated and the erudite Diaspora of the society can refuse admittance on the basis of the country a student is from, it is an alarm sign for the others to iterate on the topic and come to the inference that racial discrimination is a disease that is so deep rooted that it cannot be eradicated so easily from the bosom of time.

When the educated and the erudite Diaspora of the society can refuse admittance on the basis of the country a student is from, it is an alarm sign for the others to iterate on the topic and come to the inference that racial discrimination is a disease that is so deep rooted that it cannot be eradicated so easily from the bosom of present time.

The case of Birmingham City School Vs Aki Kurswoki highlights the fight between Asian Students and White British Students. The judgement result was making a limited time for Asian Students to spend in the playground; elsewhere white students haven’t any restrictions.

The teacher slurs about gypsies due to an Irish Background in classes. The student has citizenship of the country, but due to the Irish Background he has faced such in school.
UK has Race Relation (amendment) Act of 2000 states the facts which have been enumerated all together.

After so many acts, sections and subsection the present scenario of the education in UK is not dissimilar than USA and India. Racial Discrimination has active nail and paw to scratch people of Non-Christian Background.

6. Conclusion:

As the racial discrimination is proving its active presence in India, USA and UK, so the research has focused on the history and modern conditions. The presentation has shown that the race discrimination is going on in these three countries. The hands of the discriminators are very strong till this date as well.

These three nations are the play the pivotal role in balancing education, health, economy, business and many more segments of the world. In fact the nations have the most populations also. The view of the educational structure of the countries has spotted in clear division between high class and economical strong students and opposite side’s students. Comparatively UK, India and USA, all countries have nurtured the discrimination in education of different levels. Brown v Board of education case, Karma Dorjee and ORS v Union of India and slurring the Irish students in UK case studies are proving the acute history of racial discrimination in education. In search of the long back and some years’ before this decade, segregations in schools, colleges and universities are coming out.

There are so many Acts, (Margaret Fisher, Equal Protection Under Law: Access To Public Education (American Bar Association 1995)) but the Human Rights Commission has highlighted specific cases that stress the passiveness of the laws. Therefore, a deep research is mandatory to prohibit the racial discrimination in India, USA and UK to build the children properly so that they can compete with the upcoming tough challenges of the complicated world.

Regarding the experts’ analysis the world is changing thoroughly, and focus oriented studies or technical knowledge is being important gradually. In this transforming world, racial discrimination cases are creating parallel annoyance. A study report says that half of the University students are facing prohibition in getting adequate qualification on the basis race, color and ethnicity. USA has only 40% of students with standard education. The third world country India has lack of standard primary education and active discrimination at the higher study level. This research showcases the scenario of the study of the first world country and one of the important countries of the third world. Explanations of some landmark cases in history and modern day, acts and amendments of Human Rights Commission, Interpretation and commissions’ drawbacks of prohibiting racial discrimination with access to right to education are in the study material. Yet, the study hasn’t providing any certain way to stop discrimination in multiple levels of educational institutions.

7. Reference
‘Aaron Smith’ (Pew Research Center, 2018) <> accessed 27 December 2018
Boyd WE King, The History Of Western Education (Barnes & Noble Books 1995)
‘Brown V. Board Of Education: A Brief History With Documents’ (1998) 36 Choice Reviews Online
Europe And The Law (Conservative Political Centre 1968)
Fisher M, Equal Protection Under Law: Access To Public Education (American Bar Association 1995)
Freire Paulo., Pedagogy Of The Oppressed (Penguin 1993)
‘Kafoumba Doumbia’s Posts | Blog At Edlab, TC’ (, 2018) <> accessed 27 December 2018
‘Our Education System Breeds Racism’ (CityPress, 2018) <> accessed 27 December 2018
Scharfe H, Education In Ancient India (Brill 2002)
Sharma R, ‘Minerva Mills Ltd. & Ors. V. Union Of India & Ors: A Jurisprudential Perspective’ [2008] SSRN Electronic Journal
‘The Constitution Of The United States Of America : Analysis And Interpretation : Interim Edition, Analysis Of Cases Decided By The Supreme Court Of The United States To June 26, 2013 (Ebook, 2013) [Worldcat.Org]’ (, 2018) <> accessed 27 December 2018
Williams D, ‘The Brixton Disorders’ (1982) 41 The Cambridge Law Journal
Zawati H, ‘Review Essay Of Forging A Convention For Crimes Against Humanity, By L. Sadat, Ed, (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2011)’ [2013] SSRN Electronic Journal

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