An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum

by Stephen Spender

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How do class inequalities in the West impact education and social changes in India?

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I think that an argument can be made that the same class inequities that exist in the West impact education and social changes in the Indian context of education.  Wealthier schools in India, many of them private or funded through large endowments or fees, enjoy more than government run or poorer schools.  Economic inequalities dominate Indian education in much the same way that economics dominate educational issues in the West.  Poorer schools in India feature "a narrow street sealed with a lead sky."  These schools are ones in which the economic realities have dictated much of the reality that the schools face.  

As with the Spender poem, children live with the consequences and implications of something that they do not control.  In schools that are economically challenged, students find that their material realities have "shut upon their lives like catacombs."  It is in this in which the educational system in both worlds are very similar.  Economic reality plays an impact in the education that children receive.  The presence of such a system causes one to consider whether or not there is fairness in the manner in which education to our children are provided or whether they are the victims to "savage inequalities" in the educational system.

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