Homeschooling and Cottage School circles are once again abuzz because hot on the heels of the DBE’s BELA Bill (Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill), which was published in October and which gave society one month to submit comment; the Department of Basic Education has recently published a “Draft Policy on Homeschooling” and has once again invited comment. The deadline for comment is Friday, 8 December (yes, I know, that’s now just 3 days away!)

The BAD NEWS is that even if you did send in a submission in regard to the BELA Bill, you need PLEASE to send in a separate submission in regard to this Draft Policy on Homeschooling.

The GOOD NEWS is that Karin van Oostrum and her colleagues at Pestalozzi Trust have been working tirelessly in an effort to compile the appropriate guidance for homeschoolers, cottage schools and educators in general to access, in order to make their personal submissions.

Please follow this link for Pestalozzi’s VERY comprehensive information and guidance, including templates for you to use (it’s as simple as a paint-by-numbers); and then PLEASE send in your submissions! This D-AFT POLICY (no need to check my spelling, it was intentional!) needs to be taken off the table and a workable, reasonable and constitutionally aligned new DRAFT POLICY created.

http://pestalozzi.org/web2/en/2017/12/04/comment-on-the-draft-policy-now/

It requires a united effort from the homeschooling fraternity across the board in our country… Come on South Africa, let’s do this!

For ease of reference, following is an extract from Pestalozzi Trust’s information and guidance post:

The Pestalozzi Trust prepared the following resources and guidelines to help you:

    1. A Draft Policy Fact Sheet
    2. A Step-by-step Guide to the Draft Policy
    3. Draft Policy Submission Letter for Individuals Template
    4. Draft Policy Short and Simple Extension Request (if you are extremely pressed for time)
    5. Cottage Schools Templates: Comments Template for Cottage School Parents and Comments Template for Cottage School Owners

Address for submissions
Please send or deliver your submission to:
The Deputy Director -General: Curriculum Policy, Support and Monitoring, Department of Basic Education for attention: Ms P Ngcobo
Address:
222 Struben Street, Pretoria 0002,
Fax:
012 323 7749
E- mail: ngcobo.p@dbe.gov.za
Please send your e-mailed comments to ngcobo.p@dbe.gov.za, and BCC to homeschoolfreedom1996@gmail.com, with “DRAFT POLICY” in subject line.

In their article, the DBE has also made the following appeal: It would greatly assist the Department of Basic Education:

  1. if all submissions could be prepared under the headings listed in the draft policy document;
  2. if the person or organisation making the submission could include a clearly worded proposal for revision of the sections commented upon, where possible;
  3. if you do not wish to comment under a particular heading, please indicate “No comment”.

Contact details of the person or organisation responsible for the submission of comments must be provided.

Closing date
The closing date for submission of comments is Friday, 8 December 2017.

A word of encouragement from Love2Learn’s in the midst of this commotion…

It has been my experience over the last 17+ years, that whenever there is any communication from the DBE in regard to homeschooling, there is often a huge amount of speculation and rumour-mongering that does the rounds. In the turmoil, families tend to respond in one of two ways:

  1. They either become outraged and very vocal in social-media circles in expressing their dissatisfaction with what appears to be inappropriate, unlawful and unconstitutional interference from DBE; and/or
  2. They become discouraged and fearful.

Either way, too often the net result is that they then either:

  1. disappear further “underground” in an attempt to avoid the “DBE radar”; …and/or worse still,
  2. throw in the towel and place their children back into mainstream schooling (in cases where they are already h-s); or regrettably – in those cases where they are busy investigating and considering starting to h-s – they dismiss h-s altogether as a viable option for educating and discipling their children.

Ultimately I think, everyone loses!

I have said this before and will say it gain, “fear” is not of God (aside of course, from a reverential fear of Him). There is one who comes to lie (deceive), kill and destroy; and sadly, we have all succumbed and continue to succumb to the wiles of Satan. When a “spirit” of fear arises, in line with scripture, it needs to be firmly confronted, bound and evicted, in Jesus’ Name.
When it comes to feeling discouraged, it is important that we remind one another that we have a promise from our Lord Jesus Christ that He came to give us life and life in abundance; and we can count of Him, for He is faithful.

So, if you are feeling discouraged and/or fearful about your h-s (this may be as a result of the recent DBE activity or just in general), may I remind you of just some of the incredible assurances from Almighty God for our lives, which we find in His Word:

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
(Psalm 23:4)

I sought the Lord, and He answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
(Psalm 34:4)

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
(Psalm 27:1)

The truth of the matter is that He is faithful and He will do it – trust Him!

In closing, I want to share an extract from a post I came across, written by Shirley Erwee (fellow h-s and well-known author)…

“Home education is only one of 46 clauses amended in the BELA Bill. However, the Draft Policy on Home Education, published in November deals solely with the procedures for home education. We cannot afford to become complacent. We must again send in an avalanche of quality submissions – submissions that are from our own unique perspectives, well-thought out, presenting our objections, arguments and recommendations to the DBE on the Proposed Policy for Home Education, so that they again sit up and pay attention…

…All it takes for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing.

We must fight for Home Education and to protect the best interests of our children.”

Our Children Our Right Our Responsibility Our Freedom