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Orange Alert – BELA goes to Parliament

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On the 6th of December 2021 the Minister of Basic Education published an “Explanatory Note” in the Government Gazette. This sets out for parliament what a bill, that a Minister is about to table, is about. With this notice BELA Bill moves into parliament.

The BELA Bill is not law … yet.  It will take two to three years for the Bill to move through the parliamentary process. If it moves through parliament and becomes a law and officials attempt to enforce unconstitutional requirements, then these will need to be challenged in court. It will then proceed through the appeals process in the court system and finally, it will reach the Constitutional Court.

A bill would normally sail through this preliminary process without much resistance. However, the Pestalozzi Trust challenged the Bill at every possible point during the pre-parliamentary phase: in the national department, in the provinces, in the Office of the Chief State Law Advisor and in the Presidency. The Pestalozzi Trust has personally met with the Minister of Basic Education, with provincial education officials and the Western Cape MEC.

Now that the Bill has passed a significant milestone, the Pestalozzi Trust wants to bring its members up to date on what happened with the BELA Bill since 2017 and discuss the way forward. Join us at our meeting on the 26th of January 2022 (details below) where we’ll explain the next steps in our fight against the BELA Bill. This meeting is for members only.

5 Steps to protect your right to home school

Take the following practical steps to defend your right to home school.

(1) Keep your membership up to date or join the Trust!

The more members we have, the more we can do to protect your rights and your children’s right to education. If you are not a member yet, join us! If you are already a member, check your membership status and ensure that you have your membership number to hand. Please check that you have the emergency number on or next to your phone, and call the Trust immediately in an emergency. E-mail us with any query. Encourage the members of your Whatsapp and Telegram groups to also join the Trust.

(2) Members, attend the Member’s Meeting

The Trust will be hosting a virtual member’s meeting on the 26th of January, 2022 at 19:30. Join us then to discuss the next steps in the fight against BELA Bill. You can register for the meeting here.

(3) Join a Home Education Association or start one

Join one of the home school associations that belong to the Liberty in Learning coalition. Visit https://bit.ly/3J03QnJ for a list of home education associations. These associations are already working with the Trust to represent home educators in the Joint Liaison Committees (JLCs) in their respective provinces. Contact us; we will help you.

(4) Fight BELA with Facts

Both in parliament and in court we need to present research that shows how we practice home education in the real world and what the practical problems with the BELA Bill are. Fill in our research survey and share with friends and family and on social media. We need every home schooler in South Africa to fill in the survey. You can find it here.

(5) Celebrate your home schooling

Most important: Carry on home schooling. It will take two to three years for the BELA Bill to move through parliament. Then it will have to be challenged in court. It will take some time for all the appeals to be heard. The fight has just begun and still has a long way to go.

So carry on homeschooling, enjoy learning as a family, and encourage your child to love learning. So keep doing what you are doing. Please keep homeschoolers and the law- and policymakers in your prayers. Pray with us for the Lord’s protection and guidance in the years to come, and that He be glorified in all our thoughts and actions.  

Your support of the Trust gives you the peace of mind that you have a watchdog fighting for your rights. While we focus on protecting your rights, you have the chance to focus on your home education. Ultimately your children are the best case for home schooling.

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