Posted by: Andries Louw | 5 December 2008

To homeschool or not, Part 2: My questions

As part of my quest to investigate the homeschooling option I have decided to formulate a few questions on the subject. I am not expecting answers to all these questions here but if you feel you would like to give some answers you are welcome to do so. My intention is to more or less use these questions as subjects for future posts about home education. I might come up with more questions later but let me start with the following:

1) What are the legal aspects regarding home education in South Africa? This question has largely been answered at the Pestalozzi Trust session my wife and I attended. However a few more questions came out of that and I want to study sections of the constitution, the education act and other statements by education officials. The most important issue which is not clear to me is whether one is constitutionally obliged to register with the department of education to homeschool your children or not. If yes, then it seems you are also submitting to a host of the department’s rules and regulations that make it very difficult to do home education without being prescribed to.

1a) What are the future prospects for the matric certificate and access to universities and other tertiary institutions? I.e. what status is a South African matric certificate likely to have internationally in 15 – 20 years from now and what access criteria will tertiary institutions apply in the future? Is it for example better to let my children study towards an A Levels Cambridge Certificate?

1b) What are the implications of the proposed new grade 9 certificate to be introduced as from next year?

2) What is the state and quality of education in South Africa and where is it heading? How successful is the Outcomes Based Education (OBE) programme currently followed in public schools? By 30 or 31 Dec we will have the results of the first OBE matric paper and Gauteng education MEC Angie Motshekga has been quoted as saying that they are panicking.

3) How bad and widespread is violence and bullying in public schools in South Africa? It seems to have worsened the past few years with 2008 having been a particularly worrying year.

4) What are the advantages and disadvantages in terms of social and sports development in a public shool environment as opposed to a home education environment? Along with this go the questions of diversity and respect for people of other races, cultures and religions.

5) What are the education department’s objectives with religious education / studies? How is religious education being implemented in public schools?

6) How much influence do parents have in the public school curriculum?

7) What are the advantages and disadvantages in terms of allowing children to develop in certain fields, while potentially having gaps in others? What impact does public education vs home education have on this?

8 ) Are there objective studies available to compare the results of public schooling vs homeschooling? What are these studies suggesting?

9) If homeshooling is not for everyone, how do we as individuals determine whether “we are the type” that have a good chance of being successful?

10) Are there any “recipes” to ensure success in home education? I know life is never that simple but I’m still asking the question.

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