Received: Aug 02, 2023, Manuscript No. jisr-23-111072; Editor assigned: Aug 04, 2023, Pre QC No. jisr-23-111072; Reviewed: Aug 18, 2023, QC No. jisr-23-111072; Revised: Aug 24, 2023, Manuscript No. jisr-23-111072; Published: Aug 30, 2023, DOI: 10.17719/jisr.2023.111072
Access to quality education is a fundamental right that lays the foundation for an individual's future success and contributes to societal progress. However, ensuring equitable access to basic educational facilities remains a challenge in many parts of the world. This review article examines the spatial dimensions of equity in educational spaces, specifically focusing on the provision of basic facilities. By analyzing the disparities in the distribution of facilities such as classrooms, libraries, sanitation, and technology, this article aims to shed light on the complexities of achieving educational equity and suggests strategies for creating more inclusive learning environments.
Basic educational facilities, spatial equity, accessibility, optimal allocation.
Educational equity refers to the fair distribution of resources and opportunities in education, regardless of socioeconomic background, ethnicity, gender, or other characteristics. A critical aspect of equity lies in the availability and quality of basic educational facilities within schools and learning institutions. This review explores the spatial disparities that often manifest in the distribution of these facilities, hindering equitable access to education. As one of the important indicators to measure social equity, educational equity is related to the vital interests of residents . It is necessary to take into account the overall development of society and the needs of individuals in the process of allocating educational resources. Educational resources are the decisive factor for a country’s level of development and international competitiveness. The unbalanced allocation of educational resources has become a prominent problem in the development of education, as shown in the spatial mismatch of educational resources. The urban basic educational facility is an important factor in promoting educational equity. Its accessibility and equity are closely related to social livelihood, social equity, and the overall situation of new urbanization. This has always been a research hotspot in geography, education, and other disciplines .
The spatial allocation of educational resources is the focus of research on accessibility and equity. At the macro level, it is the allocation of resources among regions of different scales. At the micro level, schools are the basic unit of resource allocation. The differences in resource allocation between regions are jointly determined by the distribution of schools and resource allocation. The adjustment of the distribution of educational resources is an important way to achieve goals from the stage of “popularization of basic education” to that of “balanced allocation of resources” . There are many existing studies on basic education from the perspective of sociology, economics, political science, psychology, etc. However, there are few studies on the distribution of educational resources, standards, characteristics, mechanisms, and laws from a spatial perspective. Space is one of the basic dimensions of the existence of things. The key issues in basic education research, such as educational equity and balance and the allocation of educational resources are closely related to the distribution of educational resources.
They analyzed the relationship between education policy and the spatial layout of basic educational resources, and measured residents’ satisfaction with the spatial equity of basic educational resources. As the object of concern expands from students to government education departments, schools, teachers, and other stakeholder groups, the requirements for school layouts expand from a single goal of accessibility to multiple factors, such as the school’s scale benefit characteristics and education input and output relationship . The research method has changed from the optimal model to the multi-criteria decision-making model. In addition, some scholars have studied the relationship between education policy, residential differentiation, and the distribution of educational resources by introducing the research theories and methods of political economy, urban sociology, and educational economics. With the development of GIS technology, scholars have paid more attention to the spatial allocation of basic educational resources, including school district division, agglomeration mode, accessibility measurement, spatial location, etc. Regarding education, accessibility studies have analyzed preschools, and have considered primary or elementary or secondary or high schools, or both primary and secondary schools. Some studies included all educational facilities in the area covered by the research, but without evaluating the differences in quality between schools. Studies have shown that school choices and the transportation modes for commuting can differ according to school type .
Spatial disparities in basic facilities
Classrooms and infrastructure: Adequate classrooms and infrastructure are essential for effective learning. However, many regions face shortages in classroom space, leading to overcrowded classrooms and compromised learning environments [6 ]. Uneven distribution of classrooms can perpetuate educational inequalities, as students in well-equipped schools have a better chance of academic success.
Libraries and learning resources: Libraries serve as a hub for knowledge acquisition and exploration. Yet, disparities in library resources between well-funded and under-resourced schools create divergent learning experiences. Students with access to well-stocked libraries have broader learning opportunities, while those without miss out on critical resources.
Sanitation facilities: Proper sanitation is a basic human need that impacts health and well-being. Lack of functional and clean sanitation facilities in schools disproportionately affects marginalized communities, particularly girls, who may drop out due to a lack of privacy and hygiene .
Technology access: In the digital age, access to technology is crucial for enhancing learning outcomes. Disparities in access to computers, internet connectivity, and digital resources can exacerbate educational inequities, as students without these resources struggle to keep up with modern learning methods.
Factors contributing to spatial disparities
Funding disparities: Unequal funding allocation among schools often results in disparities in infrastructure and resources. Schools in low-income neighborhoods may lack the financial support needed to maintain and upgrade facilities.
Geographical location: Rural and remote areas tend to suffer from limited infrastructure development and are more likely to lack basic facilities compared to urban areas [8 ].
Socioeconomic status: Marginalized communities face higher barriers to accessing quality education. Schools located in impoverished neighborhoods may struggle to provide basic facilities due to the economic challenges faced by the local population.
Policy and governance: Inadequate education policies and governance structures can lead to uneven distribution of resources. Lack of effective implementation and monitoring mechanisms can perpetuate disparities.
Strategies for promoting equity
Equitable funding: Implementing fair funding formulas that consider the specific needs of schools can help bridge funding gaps and improve access to facilities.
Infrastructure development: Prioritizing infrastructure development in underserved areas can address spatial disparities and create conducive learning environments [9 ].
Community engagement: Involving local communities in decision-making processes ensures that the unique needs of each area are considered.
Digital inclusion: Initiatives aimed at providing technology and internet access to underserved communities can help level the playing field in terms of digital learning.
Teacher training: Training teachers in diverse and inclusive education practices can mitigate the impact of disparities on learning outcomes .
Achieving equity in educational spaces requires a concerted effort to address spatial disparities in basic facilities. By recognizing the importance of accessible classrooms, libraries, sanitation, and technology, societies can move closer to providing every student with an equal opportunity to thrive academically. The strategies outlined in this review offer pathways toward creating more inclusive and equitable educational environments for all. There were a lot of dislocations, with a small set of spatial overlaps between facilities and residential buildings. From the perspective of walking conditions, the supply capacity of various basic educational facilities was weak. Students in the school district need to use certain means of transportation or take a longer time.