One of the questions I get asked most frequently by parents new to homeschooling is “Should we register with the Department of Education.”
Now, this is a difficult question to answer without a proper explanation…
The short answer is “No”. You don’t HAVE to.
- The law states that the parent has the right to choose the education that’s best for their child.
- According to the South African Constitution, everything pertaining to the child should be in the child’s best interest.
Mostly, that means homeschooling.
At the moment, if you DO choose to register, you are promising that you will use CAPS (which we don’t) and give permission to Department of Education officials to invade your privacy by doing home visits to make sure you meet their ‘criteria’ (no one is sure what exactly these are).
We choose NOT to register. In SA, the laws change very frequently. At the moment, the Department isn’t openly antagonistic towards the homeschooling community, BUT when they change their minds, those registered will be first in the firing line. Hence our decision to stay on the “down-low”.
I would, however, advocate registering with the Pestalozzi Trust. These people are the heroes of our homeschooling community. They don’t guarantee that you won’t run into trouble with the Law when choosing to homeschool, but they will fight till the ends of the earth to protect the rights of the homeschoolers of this beautiful country. Be safe. Register.
A final thing to remember: don’t let them scare you into doing anything. You DO NOT have to register. Some choose to do so. It’s our rights as parents to choose whether or not to.
Please also have a look at these more in-depth articles on the matter: