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CAPABILITY APPROACH, EQUALISATION OF EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

S. Jha1, D. Lyngdoh2, A. Marak2

1IPE Global (INDIA)
2Department of Education (INDIA)
Equalisation of educational opportunities is a pre-condition for creating pathways of achieving social justices and thereby promoting the agenda of sustainable development. Achieving sustainable development requires strong efforts towards reducing inequality in educational opportunities. The idea that manifestation of values of elite culture serves the basis of social differences play key role in determining the extent of inequality. The sustainable development goals ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong opportunities for all. The role of social institutions like of school and its organization is essential in the discourse of sustainable development.

Within the theoretical framework of Capability approach, this research focuses on understanding role of schools in creating sustainable ways for human freedom. Capability approach is an important tool to conceptualize and evaluate individual well-being and social arrangements from a sustainable development perspective. It is essential to devise strategies for capability expansion mostly because of the fact that learning is a social process. This paper draws on data collected form 650 secondary school teachers from State of Meghalaya, India.

Evidence and arguments presented in this paper indicates two important aspects; first, initial inequalities caused by embodied and objectified cultural capital are further accentuated by institutionalized state of cultural capital. Second, a greater focus on capability expansion of children from disadvantaged background has greater equity enhancing effect. Further, effect of home disadvantage was found to reduce with improvement in the school quality, most notably teacher quality and accountability. Major implication of the findings of this research is that public policy that focuses on capability expansion would be more effective in addressing the issue of inequality in education and can act as an agent of sustainable development. Results of this research suggest that interactive and participatory approaches to teaching and learning is crucial for creating secondary habitus to support acquisition of life skills.