In Britain, there are people from all lifestyles. We find the Irish people, Jews, immigrants from West Indies, Indians, Pakistanis or simply people who settled there in search of a better life. There are also communities of Chinese people, Africans, Greeks, Turkish, Cypriots, Italians, Spaniards, Americans and Australians.
All these communities gained legal rights with the passing of the Race Relation Act of 1976.
Because of the cohabitation of different cultures, there is a need to educate people to accept diversity and live in harmony. The main aim of intercultural education is to overcome ethnocentrism and prejudice towards the ‘outsider’, the ‘foreigner’. And also, the aim is to make people aware of their prejudices and reflect upon how to eliminate them. This aim can be achieved at school, especially through the study of foreign languages, which promotes the acceptance of others through contacts abroad, correspondence, journeys, class exchanges between schools of different countries, etc.
UK's Multicultural Society
If you visit London today, you will not see only the traditional English people; you will see people of diverse origins and languages. The UK is a good example of a multicultural society in Western Europe.
The government has done a lot to promote diversity and to eliminate racial discrimination. But most foreigners living legally and working in the UK are not treated equally at workplaces as their Caucasian counterparts. Many foreigners across the UK still suffer from unfair and inferior treatments because of the color of their skin or simply because of their origin.
A young Cameroonian girl, Yolanda, who obtained her degree in electrical engineering in one of UK’s distinguished universities, said she was treated like a third class citizen when she applied for a job in a telecommunication company. During her job teacher, she was told she could only be offered the post of a cleaner. She felt she was discriminated against because the other job-applicant of Caucasian race was not offered the cleaning job. Apart from the above case, many refugees and asylum seekers do not enjoy equal opportunities. While those granted stay permit suffer from abject poverty, those held in detention centres suffer very inhumane treatments. Very recently, a 39-year-old Kenyan asylum seeker lost his life at Oakington Immigration Detention Centre after he was refused medical attention.