We use the term “education system” to refer to a number of different institutions and policies that provide basic education. These institutions are often complex, and reforming them can be complicated as well. Such changes typically require union-contract negotiations and complicated state-policy changes. This is not to say that all such efforts cannot be successful. But it is important to understand the goals behind them so that we can determine which types of changes to make.
While the purpose of education may vary from country to country, it is often associated with a society’s need to provide basic education to its citizens. Education is a complex process, involving both formal and informal methods. In a federal system, money is spent on educating children across different levels of government, but the actual system is decentralized. Ultimately, this creates opportunities for children that otherwise would not be possible.
The success of an education system depends on the ability of students to access it. Students of lower socioeconomic status are less likely to have access to the same resources as their peers. In Canada, for example, only 25 of every 100 low-income 19-year-olds attend university. In contrast, 46 of every 100 high-income students go to university. The promise of equal opportunity is undermined by barriers like the cost of higher education.
Moreover, this system is based on the Industrial Revolution model, whereby IQ scores and academic performance are the primary determinants of success. In the process, students are not provided with equal opportunities and the result is a system that rewards those who match the expectations of the dominant culture. It also reinforces a system of inequality and power imbalance. Ultimately, education is an important part of society, but it should not be used as a basis for discrimination.