Abstract education system. Keywords: Citizenship education, Multicultural education, Diversity,

Abstract

Worldwide
phenomenon of migration has led to increase in diverse populations which
emphasises the importance to reconsider the education system and move from
citizenship education to multicultural education. This points towards urgent
need to help students to come out as citizens of global village. The liberal
ideology to continue with citizenship education where the values, cultures and
beliefs of the diverse population are ignored will not be sufficient for the survival
of the youth in this era of globalization. This paper discusses the challenges
that migration posed for the nations and schools across the world, discriminates
between national & global citizenship and also elaborates the concept of
diversity in reference to Indian education system.

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Keywords:
Citizenship education, Multicultural education, Diversity, Equality.

Introduction

Globalization
affects every section of communities, which includes their beliefs, norms,
values, and behaviors, as well as business and trade in the nation. Due to
globalization and various other factors, millions of people have citizenship in
one nation and live in another. According to the statistics, the number of
people living away from  their native
place has  raised  from approximately 33 million in 1910 to 175 million
in 2000 (Benhabib, 2004). As a result, this trend of worldwide migration has
increased diversity in most nations and it has become important for the nations
to reframe the education system and policies. This emphasises on
re-consideration of the ends and means of citizenship education whether it
should promote inclusion, stress upon civic equality or recognition (Gutmann,
2004).

Migration: a challenge
to nations & schools

Migration
within and across national boundaries is a worldwide phenomenon. The phenomenon
of migration across boundaries is as old as the nation-state itself
(Luchtenberg, 2004b). Many worldwide developments challenge the mindset of
educating students to function in one nation.

Before
1970s, the schools in most nations were functioning with the purpose to develop
citizens who internalize their national values, respect and accept glorified
version of their national history. However, this objective of citizenship
education is not in accordance with the role of citizens in today’s competitive
world as they have multiple national commitments and live in multiple
nation-states. Nationalism and globalization coexist in tension worldwide
(Benhabib, 2004; Castles & Davidson, 2000).

In
the countries like United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and
France the ethnic minority students often experience discrimination due to their
different cultural background, language and religious beliefs. In order to
become a Multicultural nation, the nations must pay attention to reframing the ideologies.
As the school populations are becoming more and more culturally, racially,
ethnically, and linguistically diverse, this poses a question to nation throughout
the world to determine whether they are multicultural and allow immigrants to
experience multicultural citizenship or continue to embrace an liberal educational
policy through the uniform assimilation of culture (Kymlicka, 1995).A
multicultural nation should respect and accept the diversity of individuals and
communities.

Since
1970 which marks the beginning of ethnic revitalisation movement, many researchers
and academicians have considered the countries like United States, Canada, and
Australia as multicultural democracies (Banks, 1986). The ideology that is
prevalent in these countries: minority groups can retain the significant
elements of their cultures and also become full citizens of the nation. However,
the actual experiences of ethnic minority groups in these countries are totally
different from the ideology of these nations because most ethnic minority
groups have to face discrimination in both the schools and the wider society.

Education to national
and global citizenship

Now
the question arises for the multicultural nations:

1.      How
to balance unity and diversity.

2.      How
to construct nation that reflect and incorporate the diversity of their
citizens and as well as have an overarching set of shared values, ideals, and
goals to which all of their citizens are committed.

In
a democratic society, civic equality and recognition are important values
(Gutmann, 2004). On the other hand nationalists around the world are worried
that even if citizens are allowed to retain the important elements of
identification with their cultural communities they will not acquire
sufficiently strong attachments to their nation. Such concerns reflect a
“zero-sum conception of identity” (Kymlicka, 2004, p. xiv).

Unity
without diversity leads to hegemony and oppression; diversity without unity
leads to Balkanization and the fracturing of the nation-state (Banks, 2004b). A
major problem experienced by nations across the world is how to recognize difference
of people belonging to different background as well as develop national identity
that incorporates the experiences and expectations of the diverse groups that
make it a culturally diverse nation.

Schools
in nations around the world are facing the complexities of how to implement
policies and practices that satisfy the needs and expectations of students from
diverse background but at the same time retain national identity (Banks et al.,
2005).

Research
conducted by scholars studying immigrant high school students suggests that the
immigrant students have complex and contradictory transnational
identifications.

El-Haj
(2007), Nguyen (2008), and Maira (2004) found that the immigrant students did
not define their national identities in terms of their places of residence but
felt that they belonged to national communities that transcended the boundaries
of the United States. The students under study in these researches have tried
to distinguish between national identity and citizenship.

It
becomes the duty of the school to assist students in understanding how
cultural, national, regional, and global identifications are interrelated,
complex, and evolving (Banks, 2004b). These identifications are interactive in
a dynamic way. Each of these elements should be recognized, valued, publicly
affirmed, and thoughtfully examined in schools. Also, the students should be
encouraged to critically examine their identifications and commitments and to
understand the complex ways in which they are interrelated and constructed.

As
citizens of the era of globalisation and immigration, students must be capable
to deeply understand the world’s difficult problems, to participate in decision
making and take actions to solve them. The participation should be in a way
that will enhance democracy and promote equality and social justice in their
cultural communities, nations, and regions in the world.

Diversity in education:
Indian context

The
Constitution of India prohibits discrimination on the grounds of religion,
race, caste, sex or place of birth. Through the directive principles of state
policy, the Constitution, as a protective measure lays down that the State shall
promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the
scheduled castes and tribes. This serves as a protective measure in terms of
reservations in educational institutions for the socially and economically
weaker section, this much like the affirmative action in the United States.

India
is a secular state and the secular state is the one which considers every
citizen as equal and does not discriminate between any social or religious
group. After India got independence in 1947 and the nation realised the need
for reformation of the existing education system as it was based on the
colonial rules laid by the British. Education is the one of sectors in India
which is considered as important from all spheres i.e. social, political and
economic.

Conclusion

 Diversity is a term that is gaining currency
across the globe. In western nations it emphasises on the concerns, issues and
needs of those groups considered as outside the mainstream of society. While
the ideas underlying diversity is not new to India. Critical examination of
Indian educational policy since independence revealed that there is a diversity
framework is ingrained in the Indian approach to education. This framework is
based on three interrelated goals: national integration, equality and
development of a common culture. Increasing importance of diversity across the
world require a re-consideration of the outcomes and ways of citizenship
education if it is to promote inclusion, civic equality, and recognition
(Gutmann, 2004). Liberal conceptions of citizenship education that eradicate
the cultures and languages of diverse groups will be ineffective in a
transformed “flat” world of the 21st century (Friedman, 2005). Citizenship
education must be reconsidered and transformed to effectively educate students
to come out as global citizens in the 21st century. Multicultural citizenship
is essential for today’s global age (Kymlicka 1995) as it recognizes and
legitimizes the rights and needs of citizens to maintain commitments both to
their cultural communities and to the national civic culture.

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