URGENT: PLEASE ASK FOR AN EXTENSION OF TIME TO COMMENT ON HOME ED LAW
I want to thank all of you for your suggestions and pledges of support over the last few days. I also know that many of you are for good reason very eager to join the fight for our rights and your families against the BELA Bill. I also appreciate your patience, and allow me to assure you that we have been working feverishly in the background getting ready to respond.
SUMMARY: The Department of Basic Education “DBE” has published the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill for public comment (due by 10 November 2017). Section 2 on ‘compulsory school attendance’ and Section 25 in particular on ‘registration for home education’, would seriously restrict your freedom and add costs to you as a home educator. Given that it is now exam time followed by the festive season, that we were poorly consulted before, and that the proposals have such serious implications for home educators that we need to time to study, and consult with other and our legal representatives, we have written to the DBE to ask for an extension to comment period until the 15th February 2018. Please could you urgently write a letter preferably in your own words to Adv Rudman at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for more time and Bcc a copy to email@example.com.
Read our letter to request more time, and also read the full Bill at https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/41178_gon1101.pdf.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO RIGHT NOW
The first battle in our fight is to obtain an extension to the closing date for the public comment on the draft Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill. On the 18th of October 2017, the Pestalozzi Trust presented the attached request to the office of Adv. Rudman at the Department of Basic Education. We spoke to Adv. Rudman, and he acknowledged receipt of the letter from the Pestalozzi Trust.
You will see from the request that home educators have been very significantly prejudiced by the lack of consultation.
We now need your support to ensure that this request is successful.
HOW TO MAKE SURE YOUR VOICE IS HEARD REGARDING THE BELA BILL
Send a letter
You can do this in the following way:
- Draw up your own letter. You can look at the template and the sample letter, and then use these as a basis to draw up your own request.
- You can copy, amend and sign a form letter that we have drafted and submit it to the DBE. Please only use this as your second option and if you really feel you can’t write a personalized letter. [This is second best.]
We understand that everyone will not be comfortable with the second option, but drafting a personalized request will have the most impact. Please BCC the letter to firstname.lastname@example.org, which is the e-mail address we have created for the BELABill campaign. This allows the Trust to keep a record of the actual requests for extension. Thank you!
As a member of the public you don’t need to sound like an organization or format your response like an organization, although it is best to use the same basic format.
Call Adv Rudman to confirm receipt
Once you have submitted your request for an extension please call Adv. Rudman on (012) 3573856 to confirm they have received your request for extension of the time to comment on the BELA Bill. Take the opportunity to ask for the extension again. Please keep calling until you get a response.
As soon as you have done that, please tweet about your experience using #BELAbill, #homeschoolfreedom, #nocommentduringexams
Please also post to the Pestalozzi Trust Facebook page
We understand that some of you feel intimidated and do not want to leave details with the DBE. That is very understandable. You will see that we have raised this with the DBE. There is no reason for those asking for extensions of time to comment on the BELA Bill to mention that you are home educating. So if you are concerned then don’t mention you are home educating.
If you do not want to be identified please call Adv. Rudman (turn off you caller ID) explain your fears. Then e-mail us at the Trust and tell us that you called. We want to keep track of how many people have called the DBE. This will strengthen our case.