After an extensive and all-encompassing consultation process with stakeholders, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) is confident that all comments on the Home Education Policy have been adequately ventilated to ensure that every child has a right to basic education as enshrined in the Constitution,” said Departmental Spokesperson, Mr Elijah Mhlanga. The Council of Education Minister (CEM) has approved the Policy for promulgation by Basic Education Minister, Mrs Angie Motshekga, after a lengthy consultation process that spanned almost four years.
The Policy provides reviewed guidelines for the Home Education programme which is an alternative to attending public or independent schools where a parent of a learner of compulsory school going age may provide education for their child at home. The Policy was presented to DBE management structures, and approved by Heads of Education Department Committee (HEDCOM), to be tabled at a CEM meeting for promulgation. The CEM of 19 July 2018 subsequently approved the Policy. The Department is currently preparing a gazette for promulgation.
During October 2014, the Department held its first consultation meeting with the Home Education community and other key stakeholders. During this meeting, Home Education stakeholders presented national and international research to the Department. A second consultation meeting with stakeholders was held during July 2015 where a discussion document was presented and a working group was set up involving all stakeholders. Unfortunately, some of the stakeholders resigned from this process citing disagreements with the document. The Working Group continued with its work until the draft Policy was gazetted in November 2017 for the public to make submissions within 21 days.
The Department received numerous requests from the public to extend the submission date to which it obliged and the new closing date for submissions, 31 January 2018, was communicated to the public. A total of 740 submissions were received, analysed and reviewed.