Various factors responsible for under-representation of enrolled minorities
Poverty plays a major role in both exclusion and discrimination.
Poor families struggle to send their children to school and to provide support for their schooling when they do.
Children from poorer homes often also suffer nutritional deficiencies that have a direct impact on learning.
A first basic cause for the exclusion is that children from minorities often suffer from a lack of access to schools, especially quality schools.
Despite the dramatic leap in access to schooling over the past decade, there remain very serious barriers to access to education, especially for areas with large populations from educationally underrepresented groups.
The lack of quality infrastructure, functional and secure toilets, and safe drinking water in schools in poorer areas represents a severe form of discrimination in education for children from socio-economically disadvantaged communities.
The lack of good libraries, laboratories, and learning supplies at school hits children from disadvantaged communities the hardest, as they generally will not have as many educational resources at home.
Social mores and biases also contribute in a serious way to discriminatory practices. For example, many communities believe that girls need not go through formal schooling.
Curriculum and textbooks often also play a role. An analysis of the existing curricula, pedagogy or textbooks exhibits a biased picture of life where the view of the “powerful” prevails.
For example, the earning member of a family is almost always male in our textbooks; there are almost no references to people that are differently-abled.
Thus many of our classroom processes do not welcome or encourage children from disadvantaged or underrepresented communities.