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Education is one of social institution that makes society and the country sustainable and development. With education, people acquire knowledge, skills, habit, value, and morality, and attitude (Roth Hok, 2004, p 3). It provides the country workforce in order to meet the challenge of globalization of today competitive economic and technological development. Accordance with the needs above, each country try to build up quality of education, enlarge and widespread the educational building centers, schools and universities everywhere in the country. Moreover, they provide the chance to those who want to work on the educational sectors which aspect as private sector or organization. Additionally, the educational institution tries to reform and generate more method, structure or other techniques to improve the educational system. There are four functions of education: enculturation, qualification, allocation and legitimation (Historical Root Document) in which each function plays very important role and works in deferent aspect that education become more and more effective.
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In order to stabilize and develop the country more effectively, legitimation is one of the most important functions, which have been applying actively in education. In term of educational aspect, legitimation is the tool to establish and link the people in society. It provides norm, values and ideology to stabilize the political power and also cultural and social identity (Historical Root Document).
Cambodia is one of the developing countries which has just emerged from the war that the education had been distracted to almost zero. According to Mr. Heng stated that “Having passed four years of the barbaric genocidal regime of the Pol Pot- Ieng Sary clique our infrastructure in the domain of education and teaching is completely shattered.” (Ayres, 2003). Now it has been struggling very hard to become the developed country by focusing much on the education as the main sector that education in term of legitimation has been applied more potentially in the Cambodian context in order to stabilize, nationalize the nation as a whole.
- What is the main factor to shape the curriculum in Education?
- How did the education curriculum in PRK and later apply the social and national vision to the citizens?
- How effective have the education system work in conceptualize the citizen for stabilizing the country?
Education in Cambodia in term of Legitimation
In Cambodia, from one period to another, the curriculum has been changed and reformed steadily in order to modernize and get a better quality to fulfill the need of society within the Cambodian context. The curriculum has been set and assimilated the ideology to the young Cambodian to be harmony, peace, stability and feeling of loving nation and society and also supports and serves their political power. On the other hand, curriculum has policies to correct and encourage the students to learn more and understand their obligation as students to respect the school regulations and laws, avoid committing the crime in society that is unacceptable. Additionally, the curriculum has provided them how to be good citizens, know their national identity, love the national culture, think critically and live together peacefully. According to the curriculum the students are provided to learn the subjects that tell about the way of living, the way to speak, dress, stand, sit, and walk, it also provides norms, value and persuade the young Cambodians to love and protect their own national heritage; moreover, the information the students get is to follow and support the government context that the nation become stability, prosperity and successful development. (Policy for Curriculum Development, 2005-2009)
General goal of curriculum in term of legitimation
The goals and aims of education are to develop human resources mentally, emotionally, and physically. It provides the learners to gain the real life experience in society. It also provides the learners to understand the value of education that is limited by the royal government. In reforming of educational system, the students can solve the faced problem in their life such as aids, traffic, domestic violence, human right, climate change, protect the environment, reduce the poverty and other conflicts in community and also the country. Education can erg all the learners to think about economics, religion, controversial land, government’s concession land. When the learners understand about these problems they can work out these peacefully. As we know, when we reform the educational system, it usually effects both government and learners such as the government spend a lot of budgets and the learners are difficult to adapt with new programs. But we must reform it to progress better in country as well as in the religion. A good education gives the learners to get high knowledge to reply the need of ministries, departments, companies, enterprises, organizations and other institutions. If they get well paid job, they will help themselves, their families and country. When the learners are educated from schools with good curriculums, they will become very well educated persons who are very important asset in their society. Moreover, they can attract investors to invest in their community and also the country. One country has rapid development; it is because of the high knowledgeable learners. It is necessary can’t be lake of them. (Research in Post-Compulsory Education, Vol. 3, No. 1, 1998)
In PRK period
In the period of People Republic Kampouchea regime, the government was in left with nothing in the hands as well as the education system. (Arys, 2000) With the official government was empty idea related to the education theory and practices, most of them were in the army sectors. In addition to this, the influence of cold war in the current flow of world power between Russia and the United State (Nayan Chanda, 2007) led to spread the ideology of socialism which affected on Cambodia government in education curriculum. However the new educational program had been announced officially in on July 30, 1979 in the PRK. The system had been put an effect by Heng samrin. The new educational structure had been replaced by the administration of Vietnamese and French educational practice. The primary school course had been divided into two three-year cycle prior to 1975, was reduced into four grade, secondary school six years to maximum three years cycle. The ten years structure and ascending numbering system followed the denote school grades, were very similar to those Vietnamese. Another feature of the system which the same as Vietnamese’s was the decentralized control. Provincial education committees were vested with a high degree of responsibility for making decision. (Ayres, 2003)
In that way, education is to protect and build the People’s Republic of Cambodia in to socialist country, (Ayres, 2003), so in the period the education is provided to the people in order to stabilize the country and improve the political power.
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After PRK period 1990s
After the election in 1993, The Cambodia constitution has rehabilitation plans, the strategies of MoEYS, the strategies of socioeconomic, and the real national situation the education reform policy had been accepted by the education system development committees as the following:
The general education system from grade 11 to 12 years added 1year to primary school that the formula is 6+3+3, which is 6 years in primary school, 3 years in secondary school 3 years in high school. They also increase up 6 hours per day in order to get the international standard of 5,000 hours in which one class period 45 minutes in primary school and 50 minutes in secondary school. There 6 subject areas in primary and 8 subjects in secondary school include foreign subjects (English or French) grade 5 in primary school upward. (UNESCO statistical yearbook, 1999)
The goal of curriculum has been set to increase the quality of general education and adept with the globalization in order to easy to learn and teach more effectively that the students and teacher become very skillful and they can work very well and effectively in the class as they have expected to get high standard knowledge. (The effect of curriculum type on middle grade instruction, Vol. 5 pp.201). The curriculum has also helped them to learn thing which is fit to their ability to the situation in their own society as well as their family, community, and help next generation to love their own nation and people. Moreover the curriculum helps them to build up their capacity to improve the policy and develop their country. The curriculum can correct their habits how to live and work in their country peacefully. Thus they can be very important asset to work more effectively to develop the nation and liberal pluralistic democracy. (Policy for Curriculum Development, 2005-2009)
In conclusion, as I mentioned above, it is important to reform the educational system for all the learners. I deeply believe for good curriculums can drive the learners and country to grow up sharply. If in one country has lots of good learners, the country will develop faster. For example, the Unites State of America. This country is over 200 years old, but they develop all fields. If we compare with Cambodia, it is so far different. It shows that human resources from study with good curriculums help to improve all the fields in their country. The important of curriculums help the learners improve them to think about the problems properly such as social issue, family economics, land conflict, domestic violence, aids, traffic, human right, children right and other things the learners understand about climate change, environment issue, traditions, cultures, religion relieve and understand universal laws. In my ideas, I think that good curriculums are important for the learners to reach and achieve their goals in their life. A good curriculum can lead the learners to do the right thing and they become good citizens, leaders in the future. Additionally, good curriculums help all the learners do and think something correctly that society and human being recognize. Totally, the reforming of curriculums drives the learner to love their people, culture, costume, national treasure, environment, government, leaders, and their country. (Policy for Curriculum Development, 2005-2009)
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