School contention

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I SPEAK on behalf of many South African homeschoolers when I express my concern over the draft Western Cape Education Department policy on the registration of a pupil for education at home, released on February 11.

I refer to the United Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26, Section 3 which states: “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.”

It is my belief that such a policy, where the government has the right to determine whether homeschooling is in the best interest of a child or not, would be robbing homeschoolers of their human rights.

Education officials hail from many different backgrounds and subscribe to diverse ideologies – therefore, upon what basis would it be decided that homeschooling would not be in the best interest of that particular child?

By venturing into such a controversial area, families may soon be deemed unsuitable for homeschooling simply because their curriculum of choice is based on their particular belief system, which is, in itself, discrimination.

I believe the Western Cape Education Department needs to be very careful about discerning the difference between ensuring quality education and interfering in the right of parents to decide what kind of education would suit their children best.

Karen Thomas, Westering


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