A controversial homeschooling policy has now been approved by the Council for Education Ministers (CEM), and will become a new law. The policy will provide for the registration, implementation and monitoring of homeschooling across South Africa.
The policy will make provision for the parent of a learner who is being homeschooled to complete grade 9 by making use of a private service provider to register for a National Senior Certificate with an independent or private assessment body.
The private or independent service provider will make sure that the study material used for homeschooling is of the required standard.
The examination the learner will write through these providers at the end of Grade 12 will be set by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) or the Independent Examination Board, and certified by the Umalusi Council who sets and monitors standards for general and further education and training in South Africa.
Consultations have been ongoing since 2014, with 740 submissions being received by the Department of Basic Education.
The home education community has expressed a great appreciation for the opportunity to be considered and supported.
After the policy was presented to the Department of Basic Education’s management structures, it moved on to be approved by the heads of the education department committee to be tabled at a CEM meeting.
“The department is aware that a small group is opposed to the policy and has been spamming departmental officials, requesting that the policy not be promulgated,” the Department of Basic Education said. “But considering the extensive and all-encompassing consultation process, the Department of Basic Education is confident that all comments on the policy have been adequately ventilated. This is in the best interests to ensure that every child has a right to basic education as enshrined in the Constitution.”
The policy will apply to all provinces, and all parents wishing to withdraw their homeschooled child from home education will be required to inform the Head of Department in writing.