In Luxembourg, each child and adolescent has a fundamental right to education.
When thinking and speaking about education, we usually mean formal education, such as going to school. However, the educational landscape is much broader and more diverse. It also encompasses non-formal education, such as extracurricular activities, informal education, such as education occurring outside with family and friends, as well as wild education, such as testing the rules and boundaries. While each child and adolescent theoretically has a right to education, they can’t access these four fields of education equally. And this inequality can´t be solved with equality in treatment.
For a better understanding, let’s first look at the difference between equality and equity.
Equality means treating each person the same. It is about giving each person the same opportunity and the same levels of support. However, this concept disregards that we are all different.
Equity is a much broader concept. It means treating each person based on their own situation and supporting them in their individual needs.
How can the the principles of equality and equity be applied to the field of education?
As mentioned before, each child and adolescent can’t access education equally. Inequalities stem from impacts outside of a child’s and adolescent’s influence, such as a lack of parental support, development assistance in early childhood, or social integration. These shortcomings are often linked to systemic factors, such as the parents’ socio-economic situation and/or the child’s and adolescent's gender and/or ethnic origin.
COVID-19 has accentuated these inequalities and has further widened the education gap, a fact acknowledged in the University of Luxembourg’s “Study on how COVID-19 affects children and adolescents”.
This inequality can´t be reduced by treating each child and adolescent the same because this would not acknowledge their differences. UP_FOUNDATION wants to achieve equity by treating each child and adolescent based on their own situation and supporting them in their individual needs.
UP_FOUNDATION is on a mission to help each child and adolescent to discover their talents and to develop individual competences, such as emotions, creativity and motion. Each child and adolescent is thus supported in their personality development.
Dealing with the consequences of COVID-19, creating more equity in education is now more important than ever. This is why UP_FOUNDATION has been working on a new project named TANDEM. The idea is to provide Luxembourgish children and adolescents with continual individual support, strengthening their competences and thus reducing inequalities in education.
UNICEF – Convention on the Rights of the Child
Deutsche Kinder- und Jugendstiftung – Wie geht´s zur Bildungslandschaft? (2014)
Largo, Remo H. - Wer bestimmt den Lernerfolg: Kind, Schule, Gesellschaft? (2013)
UNICEF - Convention on the Rights of the Child