Educational System In Term Of Legitimation In Cambodia

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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.

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.

Research Questions

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 to get a better quality and understanding of the role of education policy in aspect social and civic identities and redefining or reconstructing national citizenship 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. The underlying assumption is that for processes of educational change to be meaningful contributions to national reconciliation and peace building in the context of identity. Of central concern were the policy issues that determine the role of schooling in the formation and transmission of collective identity, memory, and sense of citizenship and of shared destiny. According to the curriculum the students are provided to learn the subject that tell about the way of living, the way to speak, dress, stand, sit, and walk, it also provides norm, value and persuade the young Cambodian 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 development.

General goal of curriculum in term of legitimation

The goals and aims of education are to develop human resources mentally, emotionally, and physically. It maintains skills, experiences, morality, tolerance, knowledge, cooperation, solidarity, nationalism, love of justice, human rights, environmental advocate, identity and valuing national culture and civilization, respect for law, having self-independence, self-confidence, ability to solve daily life problems, creativity, industry, responsibility, ability to promote one's family well-being, participation in national rehabilitation and development based of democracy and pluralism, , (UNESCO statistical yearbook,1999)

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. (Aryes, 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.

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 is to build up the learners life experience, work experience, knowledge, skills, values, personality, and habits of doing essential activities in their own society as well as their own nation. Thus they can be very important asset to work more effectively to develop the nation and liberal pluralistic democracy. (UNESCO statistical yearbook,1999)


The goal of Basic Education is to develop useful citizens into a skillful workforce that possesses skills and ability and general knowledge to apply for their real social life. They have ability to improve their own health (physical and mental) as well as the health families and their society. They also feel self-confidence to have ability to solve the problems of their families and society, and the ability to make decisions and plans for a successful life. Tolerance and recognition of the welfare of other people, and public spirit with the sense of equality and empathy. Love of self-study to improve their life skills. , love of modern technology, willingness to work with others, knowledge and skills in management, and readiness to hold jobs suitable to their qualifications and preferences. Awareness of social changes and ability to adapt themselves in order to develop their nation with the spirit of national pride, love of their nation, religion and king and preservation of the natural environment, natural resources and their traditional as well as international arts and culture.