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The family is the most important primary group in society (C.N.Sharkar, 1990, p.392).. Every one is a member of family and has duties to make our self to become a person who have responsibility and value. Also, family has responsibility in teaching children as its contribution in a building human resource for society. Member of family has right to get the body prevent, take care, and human right from parents. Member of family need meal, clothes, home, education, health prevention, and safety. To complete this needs, the parents try to do anything to raise and complete all needs (MoEYS, 2009, p.186). The family also has function to provide formal and informal education to children or member of family. So function of family is very important to educate children to become human resource in society.
Focusing on Cambodia, family has also been considered as an important agency in education. As already stated in the Education For All National Plan: 2003-2015 (EFA) stated that the sharing responsibility of parents, and local community people (MoEYS, 2004, p.4).
In order to study this topic deeply, a literature review related parent’s function in educating children in Cambodia has been conducted in purpose to answer two main questions as following:
What does MacIver’s theory explain about family function in education?
What does family function provide education to children in term of Cambodia social and cultural context?
II- Literature review:
The family as a social institution performs several functions. There are many scholars provide many functions of the family likes Kingley Davis has of four main function of the family: Reproduction, Maintenance, Placement , and socialization. Similarly, Ogburn and Nimkoff have mentioned six major functions of family: Affectional, Economic, Recreation, Protective, Religious and Educational ( C.N.Shankar, 1990, p.395). But I would like to interest in MacIver’s theory, he has describe two function of the family: The primary function or Essential function and The secondary function or non essential function ( C.N.Shankar, 1990, pp.395-397).
The primary function or essential function:
There are six major functions in the primary function or essential function including firstly, Stable satisfaction of sex need refer to sex drive is powerful in human being and sex need make human try to do anything to develop their livelihood. Secondly, Reproduction relates the result of sexual satisfaction is reproduction. Reproduction is a function of family to reproduce a new birth for social. Thirdly, Production and Rearing of the child relevant the family provides the individual life and a chance to survive. We owe our life to the family. The child which is helpless at the time of birth is given the needed protection of the family. So family is a function par excellence for the production and rearing of children. The fourthly, Provision of home connect the family provides the home for its member. Home is a place that provides opportunity for member meeting to educate each other. Children are born and brought up in home only. Though, often children are born hospitals, clinics, maternity homes, etc., they are nursed and nourished in the homes only. The fifthly, Family-An instrument of culture Transmission refer to the family transmits ideas and ideologies, folkways and more, customs and tradition, beliefs and values from one generation to the next. So children or members of family had to learn the field by parents. The sixthly, Status Ascribing function relate the family also performs a pair of functions status ascription for the individual, and societal identification for the individual people recognize us by our names and our name are given to us by our family.
The secondary function of family or non-essential function:
There are four major four functions in family, the firstly, Economic Functions: relevant to the previously member of family work together in farms for the production of goods. Member of family think about relationship to provide individual needs each other. They cooperate and help to correct, teach about process of economic. But now the situation has changed. The family member does not work together at home. They are engaged in different economic activities out side the home. The secondly, Educational functions relate the family provides the basic education to children. The member of family teaches children how to speck, how to organize, etc… The member of family helps to develop children motor skill, intelligent etc. Today preschool has instead of family function. The thirdly, Religious function relate the family is a centre for the religious training of the children. The children learn from their parents various religious virtues. The family used to teach the children the religious values, moral precepts, way to worshipping God, etc. The fourthly, The Recreational Functions: connect with the recreation was largely family based. It fostered a close solidarity. Reading aloud, visiting relatives, family reunions, church socials, singing, dancing, playing indoor games, etc., brought together the entire family. Elders would organize their own recreation among themselves or together with other children.
Both the primary function and Secondary function play a very important role in education, but secondary function seems to be more important function than primary function because it shapes children personality, help them able to communicate with others, and household financing supports that help to build children’s capacity.. Unlikely, primary function just focuses on sex needs, reproduction of generation, provide home or we can say primary needs that all family has lost.
III- The Cambodia Context:
Religious Education: All Cambodian are influenced by Buddhism. The function Buddhism is to educate and to assist in the society for people to become good. Buddhism educates people, family, women, and children to know the right way. What is right for the individual is right for society. As individuals you have to think about your feeling and that to obey parents and elders. You need to find the right way to educate the younger generation. (Janet,2006.p94).The family plays a very important role to education children. As we know, parents are key member in family, they educate children about daily activities like to educate children to respect older people, help parents to prepare food and flowers for monks, wearing appropriate clothes when children go to pagoda (Chantal, 2000, p.3).
Support family education: Although Cambodia is a poor country, but parents have participated to support children both emotion and material. To relate the economy, they support both direct and indirect costs of schooling. Direct costs include those which are met by providers of schooling plus the additional costs which are met by parents for uniforms, books, transport and related items. Indirect costs include the opportunity costs of income forgone when children attend school rather than engaging in other activities. The indirect costs are a major burden for some parents, particularly the poorest, and can be a significant determinant of whether, or not a child attends school (Mark and Seng, 2005, p.1). To sum-up, most parents in Cambodia have participated to provide supporting, push their children in education sector. It show that function of family in Cambodia have responsibilities to provide education to children in formal school.
Home-learning: Parents remain the children’s first and primary educators. It is in their family that children have their first learning experiences, explore and discover the world, and develop.(Claire,June 2009, p55) A young children needs to be supported by his or her family. It is there that the first learning experiences occur, and where social rules are acquired. Very soon, language is learned, the body is controlled, relationships develop and the child becomes an integrated member of the community (Claire, June 2009,p8).For example, when children enjoy with their mother during cooking, they ask many questions about new things they see then the mother gives answers. The questions and the responses of their mother help children to develop their intelligence. (Chantal,2004,74).Therefore, parents play very importance to educate children.
To sum-up there are two functions of family as primary function and secondary function in MacIver’s theory. Although the primary function refer to stable satisfaction of sex need, reproduction or procreation, production and rearing of the child, provision of home, family-an instrument of culture, status ascribing function, and affectional function, but the secondary function is more important because it a function that help children to develop their capacities to access in primary school.
Focusing on Cambodia, family also has three function to education children, like religious function, education function, and home-learning. The parents are key educator to provide health, nutrition, sanitation, safety, education, socialization and emotional life and seeking to stimulate all aspects of development as physical, intellectual, emotional, social to their children, because children early start to learn from their family.
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