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Introduction: Many countries in the West– including Canada–are purported meritocracies, where anyone should have the opportunity to succeed in the labour market, which is to be achieved in large part through a strong and equitable educational system. Therefore, in modern liberal democracies, widespread access to quality education is one of the most important indicators of socioenomic equality and continued prosperity. In a highly skills-based, advanced economy like Canada, education (often at the post-secondary level), is almost required to access high and middle-income professions. However, many Canadians, particularly low- income families face systemic barriers to educational attainment that prevent them from accessing the same opportunities for employment and socioeconomic mobility that other Canadians have. This article will first introduce some of the circumstances impeding educational parity, then discuss how they have affected academic performance for students during their primary and secondary education, post-secondary attainment and labour market outcomes. Context: Due to socioeconomic inequality, a quality education is often out of reach for many lower-income youths in Canada. One of the most crucial determinants of educational attainment is the environment that a child grows up in (Rogova, Pullman, Iglesias, Bryce 2016). Lower-income families are often unable to provide nurturing environments that stimulate child development, as parents and caregivers working precarious jobs with long or uncertain hours and due to low earnings, often cannot afford childcare services such as babysitters to compensate (“The Impacts of Socioeconomic Status and Educational Attainment on Youth Success”). Additionally, low-income areas tend to be less developed and are therefore less likely to have access to facilities and programs that can help foster a good environment for children such as playgrounds, summer programs or extracurricular activities (Brown, Fonberg, Schellenburg 2022) ...

Diploma Disparities
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Author: Raphael Munchenbach


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