By Christine Inglis
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Extra resources for Planning for Cultural Diversity (Fundamentals of Educational Planning)
Once they have done this, issues of educational inequality related to ethnic background will not arise. The most pro-active response likely among those using this model is to speed up the process of assimilation by assisting students who are not fluent in the national language to gain competency. Other forms of what are sometimes called ‘affirmative action’ are not envisaged. For proponents of the differentialist model, the issue of inequality is academic, since society’s parallel institutions will allow students and individuals to obtain separate, but equal, levels of educational and occupational attainment.
A major task for educational policy-makers and planners is to translate these broad national objectives into specific educational policies and programmes. Three major issues have been the focus of debates about how education can and should respond to diversity. Each of them is part of wider educational debates. However, they have particular significance in relation to the presence in schools and the education system of minority students from diverse cultural backgrounds. They involve inequality, cultural maintenance and participation in the wider society.
Rather, it was left to either the minority groups or others with an educational objective, such as missionary groups. Government control was frequently weak, reflecting the limited funding allocated by the state to education and/ or the assumption that the minority was not to be incorporated within the mainstream of society. This was a common response by colonial administrations. The other major response was to use the schools as a means of assimilating the minorities into the mainstream society by providing a common schooling for all children, as occurred in the USA or France.