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Racism has always been an inherent problem in Australia. We began by suppressing the Aboriginals, then racially discriminated Europeans, Asians and now Middle Eastern immigrants. Perhaps it is Australia’s distance from the rest of the world that causes white Australians to reluctantly accept new cultures into our society. The advantage of educational multicultural policies is that it addresses the need to educate our children about multiculturalism in society, to allow all children to participate and experience different cultures and to eradicate racism. Does the policy create a learning environment beneficial and equal for children of all cultures ? We have seen from statistical analysis that public schools based in the western and northern suburbs of Melbourne constantly under perform academically compared to their counterparts. These schools generally cater for a greater mix of cultural population along with lower social standing. It would be nice to think that these schools are actually advantaged by having greater ‘cultural riches’, however it seems that this cannot be said for their academic results. The educational multicultural policy incorporates support to ethnic children with the ESL, LOTE, cultural studies and welfare programs. However I believe that the policy does not fully address the difficulties faced in education by ethnic children. These are basic language and literacy barriers, feelings of inadequacy, teacher complacency, racism and a reluctance from schools to embrace multiculturalism. Ethnic children are faced with an uphill battle in education. A high percentage of immigrants have a poor educational background and are usually placed in underachieving social and educational environments.


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