This form is designed to guide you through writing a submission to the PCBE on the home education sections of the BELA Bill. If you believe that the home education sections in the BELA Bill should be re-written from scratch in a new Bill, and that home education doesn’t fit into a law made for school education,this is the template guide to use. If you would like other options, please click here.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING THIS FORM
Words in red are for your information only. It will help you to understand what the section says and how it will affect your home education. Do not include the red sections in your submission.
Words in blue guides you to write a comment on the section. Restate the blue sentences / paragraphs in your own words in the comments blocks provided after each blue section.
Words in black will automatically be added to your submission, along with the correct headings, address, salutation, and your name, surname and contact details. If you don’t want your contact details to be published publicly with your submission by parliament, please use our Word Template
and follow the instructions at the bottom of that template.
Start Here: Background and Introduction
[OPTIONAL –Introduce yourself and your family. How big is your family? How old is/are your child/ren? Etc.] [You do not need to disclose these personal details if you do not wish to do so. However, if the reader can picture yourself and your family as real people with real lives, the impact of your letter is greater]
[Tell your story. How long have you been homeschooling? Why did you start homeschooling? Highlight any negative experience you have had with CAPS and/or schools. Highlight any positive impact home education has had on your child/ren and/or family.]
[Explain the curriculum and approach you use, why you chose it, and how it benefits your family. If you are using an approach or curriculum other than CAPS, explain why you would not want your child to follow CAPS or be assessed against CAPS. If you use CAPS for certain subjects or at a different pace explain that.]
There was no meaningful consultation with home educators in the drafting of the Bill
[State that, to your knowledge, the task team who wrote the BELA Bill consisted almost exclusively of DBE and PED officials. To your knowledge, only one home educator served on the task team. This home educator served in her individual capacity and not as a representative of the homeschooling community. A single homeschool curriculum supplier also served on the task team.]
[The home educator used NCS/CAPS and the curriculum supplier offered NCS/CAPS. None of the more than twenty (20) other curricula, approaches, methodologies, and philosophies followed by home educators in South Africa were represented or consulted on. State which curriculum, approach, methodology, or philosophy you use, and whether it was represented in the task team. State whether the current BELA Bill allows you to continue following this curriculum / approach / methodology /philosophy. Point out that due to this limited consultation, the BELA Bill does not cater for the vast majority of home education approaches being used in South Africa.]
[State that only a small number of changes were made to the Bill after the Bill was published for public comment. State that home education representatives after this comment period were told that the Bill was too far in the process and no major changes will be made.]
The changes to the SASA are not based on research
[State that the Minister admitted in the PCBE that the DBE has no research on home education – this while the need for research on home education was admitted in internal documents as early as 2015. If there is no research, and no real consultation with home educators was had, there is no credible grounds on which to base such massive changes to the law. State whether you would support research being done in the home education community or not.]
No credible SEIA was done on the BELA Bill
[Research is a fundamental prerequisite for a credible Socio-Economic Impact Assessment. Without research, a credible Socio-Economic Impact Assessment cannot be done. The SEIA developed by the DBE is therefore fundamentally flawed. State that, as a home educator, you believe the impact of this Bill on the home education sector will be massive. The Bill should not be allowed to proceed without a proper evaluation of the impact and possible unintended consequences of the Bill.]
The Bill does not account for the changes in the education environment since the COVID-19 pandemic
[There have been substantial changes to the education environment since the development of this Bill started, and especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many alternative forms of education which the Bill does not account for, such as online/virtual schooling, micro/cottage schools, home education tutor centers, and co-operative homeschooling. This will cause much confusion in the education sector, as each person and each official will try to apply the law to a myriad of scenarios which the law does not take account of.]
The nature and character of home education is different from school education, and therefore home education should not be regulated under the Schools Act
[Name at least three differences between school education and home education(more if you can think of more!). Think about things such as: doing different grades in different subjects, learning in an integrated way so that facts are not learnt out of context, being able to follow you and your children’s religious / philosophical approach, always knowing exactly what your children knows and therefore no need for formal testing, etc. Think of things in your specific curriculum, methodology, approach, or philosophy which is different from the way things are done in school. For each of these differences, explain how the way things are done in school has had / can have a negative impact on your child/ren, and how the way things are done in home education has had / can have a positive impact on your child/ren.]
[State that since home education is so different from school education, it is highly problematic to try and regulate them in the same law.]
In light of the above points, I would like to ask the following:
[If you would like the opportunity to address the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education in person (an oral submission), ask for that opportunity here.]
- That the home education sections of the BELA Bill be removed from the current SASA and new, appropriate legislation for home education be developed;
- That the Bill will be changed to reflect the new educational reality after the COVID-19 pandemic;
- That the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education would request a thorough Socio-Economic Impact Assessment that is developed through engagement with home educators so that members of parliament can know what the impacts of the BELA Bill will be; and
- That the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education will meet with home education organizations, researchers, and parents to get the needed background to home education.
[Express gratitude for the opportunity to comment, as you do not feel as if your voice has been heard by government while the Bill was being prepared. Thank the Chairperson for considering your submission.]