Title

Exploring reflections of a private education board`s mission of a equity in policy and practice : A case study of two schools

Date of Award

2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Philosophy in Education

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

Education is the basic right of all individuals. SDG 4 emphasizes that this education needs to be inclusive, equitable and of quality for all. While in Pakistan there is slight improvement in enrolment and retention rates (UNESCO, 2019), equitable education is yet a distant dream. The association between the quality of education a child receives, and his/her life’s chances warrants equitable education for all including the marginalized. Among the providers of education in Pakistan is this Private Board of Education (PBoE) that has committed to providing education to all irrespective of several markers of discrimination. This study explores the enactment of equity in the dimensions of gender, language and disability in the context of two schools of the PBoE in Karachi, Pakistan. It examines equity as is reflected in the school policies and in and out of classroom practices. The study employed the case study method of Merriam. Data were collected through observations, interviews and written documents. These were analyzed with the help of the Atlas Ti software. Findings showed that school clientele is diverse and that teachers found this diversity a challenge to deal with. Meritocratic practices in the school seemed to restrict chances of success especially for minoritized students. Further, curriculum materials and expectations of stakeholders appeared to reinforce gender inequity. Rough and tough behavior of boys reinforced hegemonic masculine identities and good girl expectations strengthened orientations of binary differences in girls and boys. Teachers’ conceptions of disability reflected a void in basic understanding of the concept. Linguistic diversity was connected with lower socio-economic status. Compensatory actions such as giving individual time to students, bilingual instructions, and accommodations and modifications to the curriculum are helpful. Implications from the study call for better implementation of board and school missions/policies, teaching and learning processes that move away from one size fits all approach in favor of learner centered approaches, support mechanisms for marginalized students, and a balance of egalitarian and meritocratic practices.

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