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HomeCommunityEducationNew threat to homeschooling: call to action

New threat to homeschooling: call to action

 

homeschoolHomeschooling action groups in the Western Cape fear that the Government intends to introduce draconian anti-homeschooling legislation in draft national policy on home education that is due to be published in August.

Cape Home Educators and the Pestalozzi Trust are concerned that the national policy will override gains that homeschooling parents in the WC won in February when they pressured the WC Department of Education to withdraw its newly released draft policy on home education. They urge homeschooling parents throughout South Africa to resist the new threat to home education through prayer, publicity and pressure.

The draft policy that the Democratic Alliance-led WC Administration issued in February denied parents their constitutional right to choose the form of education that they consider to be in the best interests of their children, say the groups. The policy also insisted that the state’s values be taught to home educated children – an infringement of the right of parents to raise their children according to their own religious and moral values, a right which all parents of school-going children should enjoy. It also gave the head of the Department of Education the power to approve curricula, require regular assessments, monitor children’s progress and have the right to withdraw the registration for homeschooling should s/he wish. It required that parents justify their reason for choosing home education, apply for permission to home educate before September 30 of the previous year, keep attendance records, keep records of regular assessments and a portfolio of the children’s work, etc.

Withdrawn
With the national elections approaching, home educators sent emails to their local DA councillors countrywide. The email campaign caused a stir and by February 14, just three days after the draft policy was issued, an announcement from the WC Department of Education stated that the draft policy “has no formal status” and “has been withdrawn with immediate effect” with apologies.

Subsequently, the WC Minister of Education, Donald Grant told a homeschooling parent that they would wait for the national draft policy due in August 2014 before drafting a new provincial one, reports Shirley Erwee, a homeschooling expert and author. Reading between the lines, the WC homeschooling action groups anticipate that a national policy similar to the anti-homeschooling policy proposed by the DA for the Western Cape in February could soon be foisted on homeschoolers countrywide.

The groups call on homeschooling parents throughout SA to send letters of protest to the editors of their favourite newspapers and magazines and to trusted radio presenters. They also invite Cape Town-based homeschooling parents to join a proposed Parliamentary Action Group to monitor new developments and to keep Christian Members of Parliament abreast of the issues. More information about the proposed group is available from Leendert van Oostrum of the Pestalozzi Trust on 012-3301337 or defensor@pestalozzi.org.

Homeschoolers are required by the SA Schools Act to register with the Department of Education but in the Western Cape no laws have been promulgated to enforce this. The majority of home educators in SA choose not to register because registering could force them to comply with unlawful requirements that are not in the best interests of their children. Each homeschooling family needs to know their rights, so that they are not harassed by officials, says the the Pestalozzi Trust.

 
 

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You are welcome to make comments that add value to the article above and to engage in thoughtful, constructive discussion with fellow readers. Comments that contain vulgar language will be removed. Hostile, demeaning, disrespectful, propagandistic comments may also be moved. This is a Christian website and if you wish to vent against Christian beliefs you have probably come to the wrong place and your comments may be removed. Ongoing debates and repetitiveness will not be tolerated.
 

17 Comments

  1. stef says:

    Thank you Taryn ….we pray that pestalosi, Forsa, Christian action and all involved will have breakthrough against the UN influence on our SA const

  2. Shaun says:

    Thank you Taryn for raising awareness like this 🙂

  3. West Men says:

    The state has no business interfering in the education of children – this is the right and responsibility of the parents, supported by their churches and communities.

  4. Vernon says:

    Gratefully our children were home schooled and have completed tertiary education. We will pray with you who are still busy with this very important ministry.

    • gus says:

      The reality is that although ones kids are finished being H-S, the next generation of children and their children etc will be affected…my kids may ‘escape’…and their children?

  5. Chris says:

    My child is a gift from God Almighty, entrusted to us the parents to care for. The government has NO right in telling parents how to raise their child, which cirriculum to follow or which religion the child should be taught. I think the government has overstayed their welcome in private households.

  6. Gail says:

    We all need to stand up and be counted. I have been trying to register a Christian Independent School in the Eastern Cape for 8 years now.

  7. Rev Ian Karshagen says:

    I believe this trend is having an impact on church-based private schools as well. For 5 years now officials in the education administration sector have dragged their feet and used every delaying tactic possible to deny our registration eligibility. Some schools recently registered have had to pay enormous annual fees to stay open, amounts which are not feasible for small institutions. We will continue with our God-given mandate to offer Christian education. God is good!

  8. Yvonne says:

    It is vital that all Chrisitians stand together in prayer for the right to educate our children according to the convictions of our faith

  9. nomagugu says:

    Thank you for alerting us. We will circulate and make all necessary advocacy actions.

  10. Charles Webster says:

    The state is obliged to ensure that all children receive the quality of education they are entitled to as part of their basic human rights, and the constitution. This has relevance for both the content of the curriculum as well as the quality of the work itself.
    As such, it seems perfectly reasonable to expect parents of home schooled children to “apply for permission to home educate before September 30 of the previous year, keep attendance records, keep records of regular assessments and a portfolio of the children’s work, etc.”
    There is also the matter of not mixing dogma with education. For example, a child who is taught to default to biblical explanations whenever science contradicts the bible, will be inherently disadvantaged and is effectively being deprived of their rights. These types of beliefs should be separate from the schooling curriculum, not taught as part thereof, unless as part of a generalised religious instruction that gives equal airtime to all types of belief, or the absence thereof.

    [PART OF COMMENT REMOVED – i.e. The commenter’s views on creation/science: NOT RELEVANT TO TOPIC — See COMMENTING GUIDELINES at top of Comments Area.]

  11. Charles Webster says:

    Apologies, Mr Administrator – was just trying to give an example of the point made immediately above. It’s your site, so your prerogative to edit…though I did feel my view was balanced. 🙂 Kind regards.

  12. Johanna says:

    Often, parents who homeschool are those who take their faith seriously and find it totally unacceptable to send their kids to schools where God s

  13. Chris & Louise Spengler says:

    Our grand children have been home schooled since the beginning of 2014 and their development & growth has been pronounced. Their mother is dedicated to “home schooling” and no person or system will ever remove this democratic right. They love “home school” and their Mom works relentlessly at preparing their studies for the week ahead etc. NO GOVERNMENT OR POLITICAL PARTY MAY COME NEAR THIS DEMOCRATIC RIGHT!