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Indivisible responsibility!

Sep 02,2023 - Last updated at Sep 02,2023

Who bears the primary role in the upbringing and education of individuals in society: the family, the school, or higher education institutions?

The quick answer, and sometimes even after deep consideration, as insisted upon by "some", is that the primary role belongs to the family.

The family is the first to receive the newborn and care for them physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually; the argument goes.

And it is the family that precedes in shaping the individual's language, developing their abilities, nurturing their skills, instilling their values, guiding their behaviour, and influencing their preferences.

Is not that so?

Not exactly, as the correct answer is "yes" and "no" at the same time, not just "yes".

Yes, because the family plays a significant role in raising and nurturing its members, closely monitoring their growth and development.

No, because the upbringing of individuals is not solely the responsibility of the family and should not be exclusive to it. Furthermore, even in the best-case scenarios, the family may do a lot in this context, but it may not be capable of doing everything required on its own.

There are fundamental tasks related to upbringing and education that are not within the domain of the family but rather the responsibility of the school, higher education institutions, and other societal organisations.

Therefore, when answering the above question, it is necessary to differentiate between saying that the family has "a primary" or "an essential" role in upbringing and education, and saying that the family has "the primary" or "the essential" role.

The use of the article “the”, as opposed to “a” and “an”, makes a huge difference in this context.

This is the first point that needs to be underscored here.

As for the second point, it has to do with the intention behind the overall emphasis on the role of the family, i.e., the insistence that it has "the primary role".

Sometimes, and perhaps most of the time in fact, the role of the family gets over emphasised when those responsible for education and upbringing in schools, universities, educational institutions and other societal organisations are trying to justify their inability, even failure, to influence individuals, or are trying to dissociate themselves from their obligation in this regard.

It is they who adopt and reiterate this position, in order to shift the blame onto others, primarily onto the family, saying, "Oh, it is the family that ultimately counts!" And this means it is the family that is ultimately to blame when the behaviour of individuals in society fails to live up to expectations.

Sometimes, depending on who is speaking, blame is placed on multiple parties. If the speaker is from higher education institutions, they blame "the family and the school"; if from societal institutions, they blame "the family, the school, and the university," and sometimes, "society" or "culture" in general is blamed!!

The "primary" or "essential" point that we want to emphasise here is that the responsibility of upbringing and educating individuals is shared, integrated, and indivisible.

There is a specific primary role for the family, a specific primary role for the school, a specific primary role for the university or community college, and a specific primary role for all social institutions concerned with the education, awareness, upbringing, enlightenment and education of the individual.

No party should be exempted from or absolved of its obligation or role.

For just as the school cannot perform the role carried out by the family, the family cannot perform the role assigned to the school. Similarly, the university cannot do what the family and school do, and the family and school cannot do what the university does. And so on!

To sum up, responsibility for the upbringing and education of individuals is a shared, integrated, and indivisible responsibility, and no one should relinquish such responsibility or "shift it" onto others.

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