After the publication of the Draft Policy on Home Education the Pestalozzi Trust undertook to deliver anonymous comments on the Draft Policy to Ms Phindile Ngcobo from the DBE. Many homeschooling and cottage schooling parents, as well as cottage school owners, sent in their comments on the Draft Policy. After having received many requests for extension of the cut-off date for comments, extension was granted by the DBE to the 31st of January, 2018. In line with this extension date the Pestalozzi Trust delivered these anonymous comments to Ms Ngcobo today.
The Draft Policy is an extremely important document, and will effect immense changes to the homeschooling landscape, if adopted in its present form.While seemingly building on a sound basis of protecting learners’ rights and those of their parents, the Draft Policy in the end fails to protect these rights and does not take into account the practise of home education. It would seriously constrict home education if adopted as is.
The Pestalozzi Trust and various associations made submissions on the Draft Policy: you may read the submission of the Pestalozzi Trust and the Annexure of the Pestalozzi Trust. The Submissions of the Association for Home Schooling and the Gauteng Association for Home Schooling were also sent in, as well as the submission of the Eastern Cape Home Schooling Association and their Annexure.
Thank you to everyone who took the trouble to formulate an opinion on this matter and sent in their comments on the Draft Policy on Home Education. This had to done very soon after comments on the BELA Bill had to be submitted to the DBE. Although little time was granted to study them, these two documents and their publication are of great consequence for the future of home education in South Africa.
On 8 February 2018 we will be hosting a webinar for members on the topic “How a Bill becomes law and how the public can participate in the process”. The focus will be the BELA Bill and how homeschoolers can ensure that they enjoy the degree of public participation that is their duty and right. The Hon. Cheryllyn Dudley, MP and currently Chief Whip for the smaller parties, will be presenting the webinar. Information on the webinar has been sent to members of the Pestalozzi Trust. We are honoured that she is willing to share her knowledge and experience with us and we cannot think of a better person to guide us through the intricacies of the parliamentary process.