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Write your Submission on the BELA Bill and submit it to the NCOP: Here’s how!

The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) will close the period for submissions on the BELA Bill at 16:00, on the 19th of January, 2024, just over a week from now. This is the last chance for national submissions on the Bill.

Impact on home schoolers

The BELA Bill proposes significant changes that will impact your home schooling journey:

  • If the Bill passes, you’ll be required to register your children for home education when starting with home education, and thereafter notify the Department at the end of each phase of your intention to continue with home education.
  • You will have to have your children assessed by a “competent assessor”.
  • Your children will have to be assessed against CAPS.
  • The Minister will have broad powers to make regulations on home schooling.
  • The BELA Bill will set the education landscape for the next 15-20 years. Your submission now can shape this landscape

Make your voice heard

This is an opportunity to ensure that your views on the Bill are officially recorded by Parliament. Your perspective matters in shaping the future of home schooling in South Africa.

You have the option to oppose the entire Bill, either due to conflicts with your beliefs, or on the basis that Cabinet instructions were not adhered to during the development and distribution of the SEIA. You could argue that the BELA Bill does not accurately represent the realities on the ground, taking into account the diversity of home education practices, or contend that it would not function effectively in practice.

Alternatively, you can support a constitutionally compliant proposal. Parliamentarians have to listen to you. If many of home schoolers make a constitutionally sound proposal, and it is rejected, the Bill can be struck down in the same way as the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act was, for failing to properly consider the views of the public.

Writing your submission

In order to help you make your voice heard, the Trust has put together two templates for submissions. Follow the instructions included in the document of your choosing, to add your unique views and personal experiences.

  • Pressed for Time: If you’d like to make short work of your submission, while still covering the essential points, choose this template. It includes comprehensive instructions to create a unique and substantial submission. Please contact us at defensor@pestalozzi.org for a Word copy of the document.

It also includes an appendix, with a constitutionally compliant proposal for amending the Bill, checked by the Trust’s legal experts.

  • Stop the Bill: This is for those who have a little more time to make an in-depth submission. It is geared towards allowing you to express your views with more detail, while ensuring the basics are covered. Please contact us at defensor@pestalozzi.org for a Word copy of the document.

We are also linking these reference documents, to show the changes the Bill will create.

  • Quick Reference Guide: ‘Home Ed Highlights’. This includes the clauses that will make the most impact on home schooling. You can find it here.
  • ‘Plain English’ version: ‘Explain it like I’m Five’. This covers all clauses relevant to home schooling, in an accessible style. You can find it here.
  • Comprehensive Summary: ‘The Actual Law’. This in-depth guide includes direct quotations from the relevant legislation. You can find it here.

Additionally, the procedural flaws in the BELA Bill are summarised here.

Once you have completed your submission, follow the detailed instructions to send it to Parliament, included in each document.

Protection of Your Personal Information

We understand that many home schoolers hesitate to correspond with Parliament and share personal details, fearing potential prosecution

Parliament and the DBE are two completely separate branches of government. Parliament is in the legislative branch; it makes laws, it does not enforce them. It collects information in order to represent the wishes of the people in those laws. It would be highly irregular for it to share that information with the executive branch, (in this case the DBE) and there is no mechanism to allow such sharing.

This separation is further protected by the POPI Act. Any sharing of personal details without your permission is an offence.

You can ensure your rights are protected by simply stating in your submission that you are providing your personal information to the South African Parliament, specifically the National Council of Provinces, and that it is not to be shared outside of the Council.

A Pestalozzi Promise

If you are still concerned, we understand. In order to give you the peace of mind that you will be protected, the Trust has promised to assist any home schooler who is prosecuted as a result of making a submission.

We believe that no-one will be prosecuted, but we hope that this promise will give you the confidence to make your voice heard without fear.

Finally: Thank you!

This campaign has been a long and hard-fought one. We would like to thank you for your perseverance and participation in protecting the right to home school.

18 COMMENTS

  1. My comment is simply that I am against the cetralisation of management and control by the state who has proven they do not have the knowledge, know how, experience, qualifications and ability to steer any project they persue. Look at the government’s SOEs.
    Our children is our future and by far too important to be thrown under the proverbial bus by people who can not even manage themself or their portfolios.
    God forbid, but my children will not be exposed to Marxist ideology and indoctrination.

  2. Somebody must please stop this BELA. Our children will suffer the consequences. Nothing the Government did for Education worked anywher. We will lose so much talent and brainpower. We will be Banana Republic run by monkeys

  3. This tyrranical bill is not constitutional. Where is the freedom of choice, freedom of speech and freedom of association? I do not support this bill and whoever the role players were who formulated this bill, they should be tried for crimes against humanity.

  4. Every parent have freedom of choice. This goverment are already struggeling with the education of children, because they do not have enough schools and teachers for all the children. Now they want to take over all the control of all the schools. This BELA bill must be stopped.

  5. Stop the bill. There is not enough schools, and schools are overcrowded, children who cannot cope in large class groups, need the oppertunity to function in smaller class oppertunities. Putting the bill in place will be an injustices to children thriving in smaller settings.

  6. Parents should have the freedom to choose when it comes to their child/children’s education without interference from the government. STOP THE BELLA BILL

  7. Parents should be able to decide about the school affairs of their children and not the state that cannot run the country satisfactorily.

  8. STOP THE BILL!
    Our children is our future and as parents, we want the best for them. This bill will only bring a dim future over our land and cause the country to fall even further behind in education, hope and a place where no one would dare to invest.

    The government has already proven us over the years that they cannot run the country sufficiently due to poor management, greed and false promises.

    It will be insanity personified to hand over your children’s lives into someone’s hands, you cannot trust and has done nothing to prove you otherwise.

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