The quality not the quantity of education that one receives from childhood until they graduate from college and other institutions of higher learning is what determines the type of job they will hold in the society. The difference in terms of political, social, and economical status of different persons has created inequality in the quality of education being offered.
In most nations, inner cities is a term used to refer to the central part of the city that has crowded neighborhoods where the residents are believed to be less educated and more impoverished and crime is the order of the day. In Africa, such places are referred to as the slum; however, in Europe they are known as inner cities or ghettos. Due to the status of this areas, the quality of education that the residents have access to is of poor quality and as a result, most of them end up on the streets either as thugs, drug dealers or prostitutes, for those who make through the educational ranks and secure jobs, they jobs are not as well paying as those secured by their counterparts from the up market.
This research paper will look at the city academies in the inner city and the effects it has on the educational equality. The paper will discuss how the educational equality has been affected with reference to the following categorizes; political ideologies, rich vs poor and finally classes. The present policy on the same will be looked at and the role it has played in academic standards of the inner city academies. In conclusion, the paper will give a brief overview of the major segments discussed and a brief solution of the best way forward for the residents of the inner cities.
Quality of Education in Inner Cities Academies
Burter (1994) concurs with the views of Ball (1991), that “it needs to be well thought-out whether the problems facing the United Kingdom education and training systems are not created more by the culture and attitudes of those responsible for the supply than by the poverty of the aspiration of the people”. This means that the inequality of the level of education between the inner city residents and the up market counterparts is not as a result of culture and attitude but as a result of struggle for “superiority”. To eradicate this negative culture and attitude towards the inner city dwellers, there are a few steps that should have been considered by the educationalist and implementers of the various education policies in UK as suggested by Burter (1994).
Intentions of the Systems
What are the intentions of the systems? Who are the target group of the system being designed? How viable are the systems? These are some of the questions that should have been asked before the systems were put in place. This would have meant that the UK education sector would have come up with different policy and systems to cater for the needs of its citizens, if not so then the system that was developed could be an all inclusive system.
Life is dynamic and therefore the UK government should have designed a system that is more flexible and ease to change. This will give the inner city dwellers a chance to feel the worth or real education like what their well off brothers and sisters enjoy.
Card and Krueger (1994) explain that the potential of a person is not judged by the physical or geographical location that they come from but by the opportunity, they can be granted to express themselves and share their ideas and knowledge. This is one area that the system failed to address.
Causes of Violence in Inner Cities Academies
There is always a root cause of any problem that might occur in the society, school violence though is not common in places like Africa where the level of poverty and illiteracy is high, it is more common in Europe inner cities which are better off than their African counterparts. Some of the causes that can be attributed to be the cause of this violence are:
Large and Overburdened Schools
Most inner cities are overcrowded with the rate of crimes being high. According to Card and Krueger (1996) most youths seek refuge in school with the hope that they will feel better, however this is not the case, since the influence they receive once they are in the school makes them practice crime in school which to them is “safer” than crimes in the inner cities. In addition to that, large classes and teachers characterize these schools and hence this becomes hard to control the student movement and supervision. According to Ascher (1994), the teachers on the other hand feel the weight of controlling the rowdy students and most of them decide to let students be free.
Impoverished Neighborhoods and Impoverished Schools
The funding of most schools is by taxes from the local government or local councils. The amount allocated to most schools in the inner cities is less and can’t manage to support the ever growing population of the poor youths. Ascher (1994) insists that this makes the youths get frustrated and as a result resolve to crime as a way to make ends meet
The effect of the school violence has had some major negative effects on both the community and the students’ body.
Effects of Educational Equality
The gap between the rich and the poor is not felt on an economic platform but also in terms of distribution and quality of education. In most cases, this gap has creates education inequality that has had great effects on the economy of many nations.
Political Ideologies, Rich vs Poor and Class
Card and Krueger (1996) argue that, in any society, the kind of life a person leads is determined by the person’s political ideologies, financial status (wealth), and social status. The more advanced the person is will determine the quality of service that will be provided to him / her. This will include health care, social facilities as well as education.
Ball (1990), states that the inner city educational centers have embraced the love-hate relationship with the cultural diversity. This is because most of the people who live in these areas are black and they see whites as the people responsible for their misery and poor life. As a result this has contributed to the increase in the cases of racial discrimination in the society. Benyon and Chitty (2004) however states that no matter how minor a community can be it is practically impossible for it not to belong outside any social or practical class.
Inner city schools happened with a reason. However, after many years, the objective of their establishment has been felt. Barlett & Burton (2003) have described the process that led to the establishment of the inner cities as well as the schools that are found in the region. Most black persons who felt that the society was against them, moved to the suburbs and the started small businesses, and settled in the area.
This meant that the factories and companies that had established their businesses had to relocate to other places. Since of these companies were owned by the whites, they felt that they were oppressed by the blacks, this form of oppression came to be known as “ghettoization”. According to Ball (1990) the mid zones also “upgraded” from industrial hubs to financial centers mean the lifestyle of the area changed.
The level of educational qualifications needed to secure such jobs went up and most black Americans were left in the dark and out of employment. Francis ( 2007) observed that, because of this, the schools that that came up in such centers modified the curricula to suit the needs of the well financed group of people who cloud afford to pay high education fees that will ensure that once they complete college they are assured of white collar jobs. This change caused a massive increase in the joblessness especially among the blacks who held low paying jobs.
Inner City Education and Violence
The typical characteristic of inner city life is violence and other criminal activities. Tomlinson (2005) project that it has been argued out in most forums that empowering the inner city dwellers through education will act as a catalyst to their activities since they will be wiser on how to conduct these acts. These acts do involve students alone but also teachers and the parents as well, the reason for this is that they were all born and bought up in the same “hood” where survival is for the fittest.
Bowe & Ball (1992) explain that one characteristic of these schools is that they serve as dumping ground of student who failed to make it to institutions of hire learning and most population comprises of children of immigrants. This means that the real habitants of the city have access to better and quality education. According to Davis (2000) the violence ethnicity has co-evolved alongside a culture of apathy towards these new students; they have to deal with with schools that are in historically poor neighborhoods, segregated, overcrowded, and socially inhospitable environments. Bartlett, S & Burton (2003) argue that this is not the best environment any parent would love his / her child to school and as a result it is hard to find students who go to such school make it in life, most of the end up in the back streets where illegal business is legal.
The Blame Game
The blame game of who is responsible for the increase in the number of cases of violence in the inner city schools is like a merry go round. Parents have claimed played their role by providing their children with the basic needs they require. Barnett (1990) observes that on their part, the teachers have exempted themselves from the blame and accuse the parents for failing to instill discipline in their kids. The students on the other hand say there is no one to guide them and teach them the good morals and ethics of life. The question that many are asking is, ‘who is to blame?
According to Garrat and Kassem (2009), the increase in the cases of insecutiriy has forced some schools to higher security personnel not to discipline the students but to create buffer zones between students and teacher. This is because there is total disconnection and lack of trust between teachers and students. Ainsley (1993) insists that the security personnel are always armed and have metal detectors to search the students for offensive weapons. For instance, one school in New York inner cities hired 150 security personnel to protect its teachers who were only 110 in number. This clearly shows how dangerous the situation has deteriorated and what can happen if the teachers are left unprotected.
The effects of the failed inner city education sector are many and grave, the rate of unemployment is on the increase, the crime rates have done up, drug abuse and peddling are also on the increase. In addition to that, there has been an upsurge in cases of child trafficking and child labor, prostitution has become the norm of the day. Docking (2002) observed that this has greatly contributed to the fast spread of HIV / AIDS, a vice that the whole world is fighting.
City academies in inner cities are not the best place to take your child due to all the negativity that they carry, however if the governments of the day work hand in hand with the local authorities, the schools and the community then the inner cities can be a better place.
Fire Arm Control
The increase in teenage homicide is blamed on availability of guns as explained by Kassem & Garrat (2009). To support their argument, the officials claim that most murder cases reported in the society are gun related. The reason for the increase in the number of firearms in the hands of the youths has been attributed to the “easy” income that is generated by these illegal arms. Therefore, the first step to ensure to try and control the situation is to implement a fire arm control policy. The policy will ensure that only certified person and person who have evidence that they need to possess a firearm for protection purpose would be issued with the firearm.
The public official lay total blame on the laws of the land that are not strict against such cases, however , the government should embark on a process of repossessing firearms that were acquired through the black market by the inner city dwellers.
Inner city schools are characterized by overcrowding, poor infrastructure as well as well as lack of basic amenities. Therefore, there is a suggestion for schools with a smaller student’s capacity to be adapted as suggested by Graham, (1999). The advantage of this is that, they assist in better communication between adults and students. In contrast, the normal inner city schools are poorly funded and dilapidated where students become anonymous, loose motivation to learn and have few role models to look up to. Another advantage of small schools is that, due to their small size, there is an aspect of respect and accountability by both the students and staff.
The teachers also know their student and are able to give them personalized attention unlike the other schools where the teacher cannot even tell the number of students in the class. The attention given to the students by the teachers and parents a like will make them realize that by learning and concentrating on books they will avoid getting into acts of violence and they can define their future seen in Stephen (2007) research.
According to Aarti (2010), there are four main channels of communication that can be applied in a society. They are verbal, non verbal, written and visual types of communication. The management of the inner city schools should embark on a project that will ensure that, the lines of communication between the parents, teachers and students are clear and active instead of using the security guard whose main role is not to mediate for peace through dialogue between the different parties in conflict but restrain the two parties from getting into physical confrontation. Communication will also prompt response of teachers to minor infractions, as opposed to law enforcement from police or security guards. This will help to convey a message that the school will not stand for actions that undermine the learning environment.
The backbone of any society is determined by how well the youths are raised and educated. The inner city communities should work together to ensure that kids from a tender age are taught on the positive virtues of life. Religious leaders should “take over” from parents when it comes to guiding and counseling of the youths as well as teaching them on the importance of religion and spiritual nourishment. Chitty and Benyon (2004) argue that this process should involve all religious leaders irrespective of their denomination, given that the youths involved in these heinous activities belong to different religious back grounds as explained by Ward & Hankin (2006) research.
Summation / Conclusion
Education is the pillar of any society and the quality of education that a person gets will determine the future of the individual. Due the different cultural, political, and social classes of the people, the level of education also is different. The inner cities academies were met to help the less fortunate member so of the society have a decent education and future life; however the increase in the level of poverty due to the high cost of life has made these institutions be turned in criminal hubs. The easy availability of firearms has also been blamed for the increase in crime activities in the inner cities.
Not all is lost for the dwellers of these places, with good planning and willingness of the people to change and adapt to a better way of living, the inner cities academies can be beneficial to thousands if not millions of people. Education is the key to success.
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