Parents who are currently homeschooling their children in South Africa should take note of a new bill that could be signed into law soon. The Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill (BELA) is still in draft form, and the date that it will be implemented is yet to be determined. Let’s take a closer look at how the basic education laws amendments bill could affect homeschooling in South Africa.

Harsher punishment for parents who don’t register home education learners

It’s estimated that of the reported 100 000 children who are being homeschooled in South Africa, only around 1 500 are registered at their respective Provincial Department of Basic Education. Thus, BELA calls for parents who do not register their children to serve a possible six-year prison sentence, as opposed to the current 6-month period.

The reason for this is to ensure that the children receive an education that is on par with that of a public school.

Maintaining a specific standard for home education learners

While parents will still have the option to curate and develop curriculums for their homeschooled children that are in line with the national education curriculum, BELA calls for parents to make use of the Further Education and Training (FET) phase for grades 10 to 12.  This is to ensure that the learners are able to receive their National Senior Certificates.

So, while the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill hasn’t been signed into law yet, parents should take note of the changes that could impact them the most if they want to avoid legal ramifications and make sure their children get a certain standard of education.