Call to tighten home-school­ing rules

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - TEBOGO MONAMA

HOME-SCHOOL­ING is one of is­sues that will be in the spot­light at the three-day Ed­u­ca­tion Lek­gotla this week.

The lek­gotla, which started yes­ter­day, will look into whether laws around home-school­ing chil­dren should be tight­ened.

Gaut­eng Ed­u­ca­tion MEC Panyaza Le­sufi said he was wor­ried about the in­crease in the num­ber of pupils be­ing home-schooled. He ques­tioned whether this was be­cause par­ents in for­mer Model C schools did not want to in­te­grate with black pupils, who were flock­ing into the schools.

“We ac­cept that there are par­ents who want to teach their chil­dren at home. It’s their con­sti­tu­tional right, but we are part of a broader so­ci­ety and chil­dren need to know oth­ers’ cul­tures. The sud­den in­crease of par­ents who be­lieve home-school­ing is the fu­ture is wor­ry­ing. Is it an­other way to avoid in­te­gra­tion with other cul­tures?”

Le­sufi said the depart­ment was wor­ried about the num­ber of pupils re­moved from school to go into home-school­ing cen­tres that op­er­ate as un­reg­is­tered in­de­pen­dent schools.

Gaut­eng ed­u­ca­tion head of depart­ment Ed­ward Mo­suwe said: “We have seen an up­surge of peo­ple who want to register in­de­pen­dent schools.”

He said it was prob­lem­atic when of­fi­cials went to eval­u­ate home-school­ing cen­tres, only to find them op­er­at­ing as in­de­pen­dent schools.

“We now find out that par­ents are run­ning in­de­pen­dent schools,” he said.

“Some­times they are not reg­is­tered providers. Peo­ple open up fly-by-night in­de­pen­dent schools. We want to tighten rules around the regis­tra­tion of home-school­ing.”

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