The old theory for Cambodia people to ward education especially for women was passed through many generations. This is because of either custom and tradition or the real situation of the Cambodia society. It is an example and also the fact of Cambodia. Due to the prolonged civil war, this country is nearly destroyed because of the ambitious of some politicians such as Lon Nol era and Pol Pot genocide regime that caused Cambodian people to kill each other especially intellectual people. Many people could not get education during these civil wars. Therefore, most of older Cambodian people are illiteracy.
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The lack of human resources is the most difficult problem for the Cambodia royal government to develop the country today. Now in order to develop the Country, the Royal Government of Cambodia had set out that the Education Factor is the first key to be focused and it must start at the early childhood of children. This commitment can reach to the success unless there is a strong involvement of parents because they are the people who stay closed and more times with the children. So both government and some NGOs have a strong corporation to set out many programs in order to educate parents the skills, theories and ideas for taking care and teaching their children. This study will focus on “Parenting Education in early childhood” with some objectives such as to examine the types of involvements as well as the factors that-Motivate the parents getting involved in educating their children besides schooling in rural areas, Cambodia. And the researcher wants to know whether there are any changes both ideas and practices. More important thing, this research will study whether there is a relationship between parenting education on early childhood and the learning outcome of the children.
According to the discussion based on some documents revealed that there many types of involvement for parents and there are many programs which relate to Parenting Education in early childhood and it also pointed that parenting education in early childhood program made them a lot of new changes of skills, theories, and ideas in taking care and teaching their children from the earlier year.
Finally, this research report can provide the valuable insights for all education sectors both government and NGOs that are interested in educating parents for taking care and teaching their children, especially for improving children’s development.
In order to develop the Country, the Royal Government of Cambodia had set out that the Education Factor is the first key to be focused and according to the 1993 Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia articulates the need and responsibilities for parents and the state in children’s development and education. The first goal of Education for All (EFA) aims to expand and improve early childhood, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. The Early Childhood National Policy framework by the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) articulates that in order to achieve its EFA goals, it is necessary to expand provision of ECCE services through the support of families and communities. Thus, educating parents is linked to the achievement of the goal on increasing enrollment in grade 1, where the transition period from preschool to primary grades is a critical stage (New Humanity, n.d.).
Adding to this point, the government of Cambodia has realized that the present preschool is too little, too late for the large amount of children at the age of 3-5 years old. Therefore, the broad policy target will be to increase the net enrolment into ECCE of 5 year olds to 50 per cent by 2010 and 75 per cent by 2015 Nirmala Rao and Emma Pearson, 2007 (as cited in National Plane, 2003).
In addition, children in early childhood stage are in the age of three to five. At this stage, they try to learn almost everything from elder people around them in order to go along well with their peers, and they need more warmth and time from their parents or care givers. He, Oloutou (2010) continued saying that the “basic needs of a child vary according to the developmental stage of him/her”, the needs can be classified into physical, emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual needs. ECE is a very important stage for children to develop themselves in those four main areas. Beside these, they start to learn how to have good daily hygiene, to take care of their own health – individual properties as well as others. In ECE, children are provided special education and needs. In order to help children to grow up in an appropriate way, parents must take an important role to play. That is why parents need to be supported because we must do things in the right way and at the right time (Oloutou, 2010).
More than that, MoEYS (2010) mentioned that the main key of RGoC for improving future high living standard of the people and reaching the goal of the education for all (EFA) is to keep on educating the children who are going to be the pillars of country development. And in order to achieve these aims, the Royal Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia (RGoC) with the local and international partners, and education stakeholders as well as the parents has to ensure the children health care and development. The children in the age of 3 to 5 is necessary to meet the 5 basic needs such as physically, morally, emotionally, intellectually and socially so that they can work well especially learning (p.1).
In addition, the children can learn whatever they have seen and heard. For example, they observe what the older people talk and interact with each other. They also learn from their surrounding environment both direct and indirect ways. That is why the Royal Government of Cambodia considers the Early Childhood Education as a very significant today priority program for children to attend the class and also provide the basic understanding before being ready to the primary schools and also the parents are the very essential people for helping this program move forward because most of the times the children under the age of six often stay with the parents more than teachers, like walking, learning the language, and other activities (NGO Education Partnership, 2008).
Similarly, the Royal Government of Cambodia spent nearly US$ 750,000 for ECD in 1997. To support this program, the NGOs also got involve keeping this program forward by funding around US$ 300,000. They emphasized much on how to improve the quality of the program through training 2,000 pre-school teachers, curriculum, and tools updated. For example, the UNICEF is taking part to help the 609 Community based pre-schools with the kids who are in the age of 3 to 5 years with draining expends, facilities, and others in 2005 (UNECO, 2006).
Furthermore, ARNEC News Flash (2009) stated that the Parenting Education In Early childhood are considered as one of the most important education systems in Cambodia nowadays. It provides the parents the ideas and reaches the goal of increasing enrolment in grade 1.
More importantly, the Royal Government of Cambodia has focused to the child, family, and people in the community to fulfill abilities and particularly, the early childhood which has been legally accepted by the National Government as the first step to educate the children (ARNEC Connections, 2011).
Adding to this point, the main task for the Royal Government of Cambodia had set out that the RGoC want to achieve 50 percent of Cambodia children aged between three to five attending preschool programs by 2015. These programs are also supported by the UNICEF’s Community Action for Child Right with both materials and budget. Many child care classes were practiced under the help of UNICEF for encouraging young women and adolescent girls to access these classes and the number of children aged 3-5 attended in 1,282 community preschools up to 28,339 (14, 932 girls) in 320 communes, 17 districts, and 12 provinces, Cambodia (UNICEF, 2012).
1.2 Problem Statement
Researches on Parenting Education in Early childhood by Michigan Department of Education (2001) and Education Partnership (2008) reveal many contributing factors of Parenting Education such as: “parent expectation and student achievement, the impact, and when parents should get involve”. Of cause older Cambodia people who are in the remote areas are illiteracy, so most often what they do following the out of dated ways like ways of educating their children and their beliefs etcâ€¦ Some citizens seem to have the ideas that they just send the children to school and try to earn the money and support them. Those are their works. Whatever students can make sense or not, it is for the teachers while some others seem to have accuses that I have no time to teach my children and have no enough money to support. And some parents do not provide the value to education. Those careless nesses let the education getting lower and lower. The level of the students understanding is getting worse and worse. It may be a crucial problem for the country development.
1.3 Research Objectives
The purpose of this study is to examine the types of involvements as well as the factors that-Motivate the parents getting involved in educating their children besides schooling in rural areas as. Consequently, it will also to check the parents’ understanding on parenting education before and after the training in the remote rural areas of Cambodia, Kampong Chhnang province. In addition, it will be possibly looked in detail about the parents’ education background and the students’ knowledge. All of these will be identified based on the literature review for analyzing. More important thing, this research will study whether there is a relationship between parenting education on early childhood and the learning outcome of the children.
1.4 Research Questions
This study is conducted purposely to answer the following three research questions
What factors motivate parents to get involved in Parenting Education- parents participating in PE?
What are the obstacles for parent to get involved in PE?
After getting the training on PE, what are the changes?
1.5 Significance of Research
It is very important for providing the early basic education to children. The young children can learn something quickly whatever happened around them. That is why during the earliest years, parents are the drivers for driving the children. During this development stage, the children can become good or bad depending on the ways which the adult people taught them. If the old people educate them the good things, they will be good too. However, they will be very cruel, if they are taught the bad thing.
First this study will help to expand understanding of parents toward PE as well as government and other partnerships that are doing activities with this program. It is hoped that it will also provides insights to teachers and administrators to think about the significance of the transition period which refers to the time that children are being fully developing, and not yet schooling in grade one.
Secondly this research may also help Cambodian people to focus more on ECE which is the root of education to sharp the people to be good citizens in the near future. In this way, the parents will probably understand and provide high value for education.
Finally, the results of this study will also be a part of considerable idea for parents teacher training and short training program to build up their understanding especially teacher training and short training program to develop their professional skills in early childhood program. It may be help the next researchers who want to further researching related with this topic and for the next generation to be awareness of the PE to ECE.
1.6. Key Term Definition
To make the readers easier understands the context clearly, there are two key terms which are defined as follow: ” Parenting education” is an organized, programmatic effort that is strengths-based and designed to support parents and other parenting partners while enhancing their competence & confidence to improve their child-rearing knowledge and skills. Parenting education has been shown to decrease child maltreatment, substance use and abuse in families and communities, and increase child resilience and school performance, which lead to academic success (North Carolina Parenting Education Network, n.d.).
Another one is “Early Childhood”. Early Childhood Education is a term that refers to educational programs and strategies geared toward children from birth to the age of eight. This time period is widely considered the most vulnerable and crucial stage of a person’s life. Early childhood education often focuses on guiding children to learn through play. The term often refers to preschool or infant/child care programs (Beth Lewis n.d.).
1.7 Chapter Outline
This paper will be chronologically composed of five main chapters. Chapter one is the introduction, consisting of background of the study, researcher problem, research objective, research question, significance of the study, and definition of key concepts. Chapter two is literature review, which discusses on the problems and solutions of the study. Chapter three is methodology, which consists of research design, participants, method, instruments, tools data collection, data analysis, ethnical consideration, strengths and limitation of research. Chapter four is discussion. Chapter five is conclusion and recommendation, summarizing the problems and findings of the study.
This section will show out of the literatures that present the information under various heading and sub-headings involving with the parenting education. The literatures will identify some reasons for motivating and getting parenting into parenting program as well as they will clarify the obstacles or challenges within the program. The literature also briefly describes the role of parents in education system and parental involvement program. The literature review on this paper also has been the results of reviews from theories and studies by scholars, organizations, and especially educational experts in parenting education in early childhood. However, some major educational agencies, such as UNESCO and UNICEF will shape and provide guidelines for this study. More importantly, there will be presented the changes of parents toward parenting education based on the previous studies.
2.2 Type of involving in Parenting Education and definitions
According to Barnardos’ the National Children’s Resources Center (Barnardo’s NCRC) (2006) defined that “Parental Involvement as engaged participation by parents in a consistent, organized and meaningful way in the consultation, planning implementation and evaluation of programs and activities that assist their child’s development” (p.3)
Chrispeels and Gonzalez (2005) stated that “knowledge is a powerful predictor for involvement” meaning that the involvement can work well unless we provide the education to the parents first. That is why the encouragement and value for pursing the parent to take part in raising high performance of students’ learning are very essential. Adding to this point, the achievement and the adjustment of children not only focus on Schools and Governments but also Parents themselves. That was the reason which UK government set up the policy for education system called “Parenting Education”, and it is considered as the very important factor which influent or impact to children’s learning progress. More than this, the researchers also found out that there were many forms. This is shown in table 1 below and the level of impacts of parental involvement. For example, children can be provided many kinds of supports- physically, intellectually, morally, emotionally, and socially both direct and indirect from their parents. Depending in this finding, the researchers also clarified that the “social class, poverty, health, and also with parental perception of their role and their levels of confidence in fulfilling it are the difficulties for parental involvement. One thing in the report is that parent should be a good home parent. It means that parents are the essential elements to make changes for the children (Chrispeels & Gonzales, 2005).
Type of involving in Parenting Education and definitions
Type of involvement
providing housing, health, nutrition, safety; parenting skills in parent-child interactions; home conditions to support study; information to help schools know child
in school help in classrooms/events
teaching at home
help with homework, help with educational choices/options
membership of PTA/governors
contributions to school
Note. Epstein’s conceptual framework for family-school-community involvement Desforges C &Abouchaar A, 2003, p.18 as cited in (Kreider, 2000).
2.2.1 Benefit of Parental Involvement
Naturally, all children want to get a comfortable feeling from their parents. However, there has been a shift in the workplace with more women taking up employment since 1980 and men also work. So some children have a little bit time with their parents. Children should be provided a lot of good experiences and education from birth to adolescence. In addition, they need the safe and caring environment in their families in order to accomplish their goal. As everyone has already known that parents are considered as a key educators of their children’s learning development and parents are also main characters who have a special connection such as communication and relationship with children. Therefore, parental involvement is very significant to enable them to help their children and lead them to be success. That is why parental involvement programs are useful for parents to build on the children general understanding as well as the parenting skills. There is one evidence proved that the more parents spend times with children at home, the more children develop high level learning outcome (Barnardos’ NCRC, 2006).
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2.3 The encouragement and motivation for parents involving in Parenting Education
The encouragement and motivation for parents are the most significant task for PE and it is also the most complicated thing to accomplish. According to Akkok F. (1999), there are many countries which have been trying to update or making changes the education systems for the country; especially for the early childhood education. Meaning that providing the education to the children- age 3 to 5 is very important for developing their abilities for thinking. There are many factors both direct and indirect which have the influent to develop the children’s learning such as social environment, school environment, community environment, and home environment. Parents are a very necessary factor which directly influences to children among all of the factors for leading the children to grow well. That is why the Parenting Education Program provides a lot of advantages to parents to gain the skills, knowledge, and experiences. There are many ways in which the parents are encouraged to get involve in students’ learning both at home and at school such as “conducting parenting skills seminars, having regular meeting to discuss curriculum, teaching parents how to teach their kids with home study and home activities, encouraging parents to educate themselves, and providing opportunities for parents and students to learn together.”
More over, Judith L. Even P.A who had researched in Early Childhood Development showed that children in the age of zero to three needs various inputs to let them grow well for example; the five basic needs- Intellectually, Morally, Physically, Emotionally, and socially are very essential for them. In addition, the children’s brain start to form the image and the first two years they begging to form sounds, pictures, and something around them. To help them with these demands of learning, the support from the stakeholders is necessary. Because of this idea, the Parenting Education was useful to implement to the program. The Parenting Education not only occur now but also existed for many years. One main thing which the authors found is that the growth of children was not totally the same. It means that the children require different thing while they are growing from day to day. There are not only parents but also including the government, and the surrounding environment. The authors strongly agreed that “Parenting is the provision of ongoing care and supports that a child needs in order to survive and thrive. All children have the need and right to be parented”. Children can acquire or catch up something faster and faster during the first three years. This might begin from a little bit independent. So the Parenting Education and Parenting support must go with this growth. (p.3)
Similarly, the Parent Education is a main key for educating parents to feed their children with effectiveness. To reach this goal, both governments of any countries and their own partnership try to set up or change the Education policy to update the quality of children’s learning achievement. Unlike Most other types of formal parenting education interventions, a parenting newsletter offers only informational support. It offers no practical assistance or obvious emotional nurturance nor is there expectation for reciprocal support. Most important for research design, newsletters also provide a standard stimulus to all recipients, unlike face-to-face parenting programs in which various factors make every instance of program delivery a variable stimulus. This new form of the involvement of personal social network has influence to parent education that each member of the family- mother or fathers works together with the other participants of other family to reach the common goal for children raising. Both reading the newsletter and doing the discussion can provide a lot of advantages for Parenting Education and this can train the parents with the skills for feeding their children (Walker, David, & Riley, 2001).
One more important thing, UNICEF (2010) also has already done the draft report which focuses on the development of “Early Childhood Development”. The aim of this draft report is to collect the “real life stories from around the world. UNICEF fully agreed that “Early childhood years are the most crucial to our physical, cognitive, social and emotional development” and the children who are neglect from daily caring when they are very young may face many serious problems for their lives such stay away from education in early childhood. Thus some of them are in school, their learning is not effective. Most of these problems are mainly caused by the starvation, and low living standard of family. In this report raised some countries which are now trying to promote the early childhood development like Swaziland, Ghana, Cambodia, Malawi, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mongolia, and Nepal. The people are living in the extreme poverty among these country like Swaziland- 70% and twenty five percent of the children living with motherless support. The governments of these countries are now working hard with national and international partnerships to help those orphan children; for example, the creation of ‘Neighborhood Care Points (NCPs)”. Seeing the successful process of this program, UNECEF provided some facilities for schools, and some local people are volunteers to help NCPs and the governments, partnerships, and parents to provide the health care, and learning achievement of the children. Furthermore, some points also illustrate that most of the children who are out of schools or low learning achievement cause by the lack of parents’ understanding to take part in improvement of children’s learning process.
Zepeda M, Varela F & Morale (2004) stated that there are “five Critical components” for building up the health of children to have a good health and preparing them to attend class effectively, and these components aim to improve parents and communities to bring up the children ahead. Moreover, these five elements were accepted for state early childhood strategic planning efforts: These five components are:
Access to medical homes
Services and supports to promote the positive socio emotional development
and mental health of young children and their families
Early care and education services
Parenting Education services
Family support service”.
Meanwhile the Parenting Education is very significant for building up the parents’ skills and knowledge to take part in children’s learning, health, and other developments of children. Meaning that parents is one of the main keys for locking or unlocking the door of the family- whether the family can move forward or backward, it depends on the parents. Parents are not only helpful for improving children’s learning but also let the country move forward. Because of the changing of society- Mobility society, most families are nuclear families. They don’t live with their parents any more after getting married, and having children. In addition, both of them-father and mother go to work and most of the times care for work. Sometimes they forgot to take the time for responding the tasks being as parenting. That is why Parenting education program is one of new main poly for proving parents the skills, knowledge on how to take part into children’s learning process as well as health care.
Similarly, the Philippines is one of the countries that firstly started up the program focusing on the early childhood development (1960’s) – called “Healthy start is intensive, community-based, home-visiting program that enrolls pregnant women and families with newborns and provides support for healthy family and child development during the first three years of the child’s life.” This program strongly emphasizes on well parenting actions and improving parental understanding of child development with playing games to support healthy development and learning for newborns mothers. Furthermore, the Family Support workers (FSWs) go directly to talk with parents- home visiting. While they are visiting the parents with four months of age babies and again every two months till they are two years old, the FSWs use the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) for the children. As the result, the healthy program provides a lot of good benefits for parents in Philippine in term of “knowledge of child development, parenting practices, and child health”. In addition, the number of parent enrollment in ECD is getting more across the Philippines (ARNEC Connections, 2000, p 4-8).
According to ARNEC Connections, 2000 release that Cambodia is the same as Philippines as well as other countries in the regions that now the national government is very interested in child care, education, family and community development, especially the early childhood development through educating parents. Seeing this attention, the NGOs like the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is one of the organizations that work strongly with the children’s learning and health care, particularly through joining with the parents, communities and commune leaders for improving children’s learning in the rural areas in Cambodia. Because of the high number of illiteracy and poor living standard of people in the rural areas, Cambodia, ADRA decided to create one project called “Literacy for Women’s Health and Empowerment (LWHE)” for improving literacy skills for the people in the target regions such as understanding about health problem and community development through group discussion- village women and one facilitator. Consequently, after noting that project provided a good outcome as well as observing that parents have less cooperation with children such as communication with each other and activities, ADRA made one more project accompany with LWHE called A New Day for Kids (ANDK) in 2008. The main task of ANDK is educating parents- men and women in order to join or encourage their children to get knowledge from the first stage (pp15- 25).
Furthermore, AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF FAMILY STUDIES (2006) stated that most people who live in the rural area have no enough important skills- child rearing,, social support, and child development skills. So in order to help children from maltreatment, they created two programs called Parenting Education and Home Visiting programs to prevent children from abusiveness. Through educating parents and visiting homes, most parents are motivated to involve in PE because these programs strongly focus on “increasing parental knowledge of child development; assisting parents in developing parenting skills; and normalizing the challenges and difficulties inherent in parenting, especially creating safe and supportive environments for children.” They don’t only emphasize on parents but also children and communities. Figure 2 bellow shows the types of child maltreatment prevention programs that their objectives mostly reach to the parents, children, and communities.
Types of child maltreatment prevention program
Personal safety programs
Assertiveness training for “at risk” children.
Universal nurse home visiting programs
Parent Education Program
General media awareness campaigns
Targeted media campaigns in “at risk” communities.
The strong involvements of parents toward children development lead to many factors such as “family social class, maternal of education, maternal deprivation, material psycho- social level and single parent statusâ€¦” In addition, in England the governments created the policies which motivate the parents to get involve in educating their children before schooling and during schooling with “a good foundation of skills, value, attitude and self concept”. The policies consisted with three elements “Providing parents with information, Giving parent a voice, Encouraging parental partnership with school” (Charles Desforges & Alberto Abouchaar,2003).
2.3 The impact of parenting education and children development.
There were several studies about this issue and they showed different results about those studies. Some results revealed that there was no relationship between parent involvement and children development, but others expressed the positive impact between parent involvement and children development. And the studies which expressed the positive effect focused on Parenting Education. When parents take part in educating children, their children’s learning outcome is better for example: the repeated rate is less, low dropping out students, regularly attendant, hart comforted feeling, and full feeling of encouragement. In addition, the earlier parents walk into educating children, the better affect to children (Sam Redding, p. 22).
Furthermore, “young children are born with ability to learn, but they need the encouragement and freedom to be able to develop that ability”. And there are only parents who are the main agents to provide these needs for them from early childhood. Furthermore, there are only parents who initially know the development of their children and what they need. Then give them those needs. Table3 bellow shows the children’s development needs (
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