Students Take Responsibility to Close the Gap of Inequalities
Middle school students from different sectors of the world came together to assess inequalities in their countries. After their discussion with international partners from India, Nepal, Korea, and the United States, students worked to find solutions on ways to close the gap of inequalities in their countries. As it turns out, many countries shared similar issues while having unique backgrounds of these challenges. Students shared their passions for making the world a more equitable place and realized solutions are in the hands of future generations. Solutions were suggested by addressing cases related to gender inequalities, wealth inequalities, technological inequalities, and educational inequalities.
Gender inequalities are prevalent in all countries. Each school highlighted the gaps between men and women and how it impacts their community. In Nepal, students described the Dowry Custom (payment for a woman’s hand in marriage) and how it can negatively control a woman’s life. The community has seen a rise in domestic violence and decrease in independence for women. As a powerful solution, Nepali students presented educating children on the harmful effects of dowries to create change makers in our global society. Technological inequalities are growing at an alarming rate due to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Many societies are seeing this digital divide grow between age groups. The rapid advancement of technology has displayed consequences by hindering older generations' ability to stay connected in our global society. Korean students stressed, “It’s becoming more and more serious that many people are discriminated against as technology develops. It is a serious social problem and we are responsible to reduce and solve this problem. We are going to constantly work hard for a better future.”
Students from the United States brought up their own experiences of wealth inequalities and emphasized the effects they can have. From personal narratives, students explained how income differences depending on geographic location, gender, and ethnicity have altered their daily lives. Although many policies are in the works to support income gaps, students insisted on the importance of education in order to close the wealth gaps.
Although education is important for all people, academic inequalities are present throughout the world. Korean students explained how wealth inequality greatly affects a child’s ability to access higher education. Furthermore, students from India visualized a direct correlation that includes those with access to quality education more often have a higher socioeconomic status. From there, citizens have more opportunities in society than others. Students passionately announced, “Reducing inequality requires transformative change. Greater efforts are needed to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, and invest more in health, education, social protection and decent jobs especially for… vulnerable communities.”
Overall, students were enlightened by sharing essential solutions for similar inequality issues from different cultural perspectives and contexts. Although students live far apart, everyone agrees that education and taking responsibility can have a substantial influence on widening or closing societal gaps. Nepali students expressed appreciation for their learning opportunity, “...Talking about our hobbies and our culture was really a good part to learn... Not only that but discussion about inequality issues in our country and the solution of it was a very important part to learn.”