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Parents flock to register their children for homeschooling

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Chairperson of SA Homeschoolers says they have been overwhelmed with calls

THE DEPARTMENT of Basic Education’s decision to reopen schools gradually starting on June1 has caused massive debate, with parents still unsure whether to send their children to school.

Minister Angie Motshekga announced they would permit pupils to continue their education under homeschooling.

“The South African Schools’ Act allows parents to homeschool, but you have to register your child and provide your circuit and province with your plan. For that child to be promoted they would have to write certain exams,” she said.

Motshekga’s announcement has seen a number of parents attempt to shift their children to homeschool education for the remainder of the year.

The chairman of SA Homeschoolers, Bouwe van der Eems, said they have been overwhelmed with calls ever since the minister’s announcement earlier this week.

Van der Eems urged the department to introduce a new method that will allow parents to register more quickly to enable pupils to get on with the curriculum.

Speaking on the department’s readiness with regards to school reopening, Motshekga said parents who are anxious about sending their children back to school would not be forced to do so.

Motshekga said resuming the schooling year from June was important for pupils and saving the academic year. 

When asked about how the department would deal with children with underlying health issues, she said the department would deal with those cases on a case by case basis. 

She said schooling had to resume and that the entire schooling system could not be held back based on “anxious parents”. 

Parents who choose to keep their children at home would have to re-apply for the schools their children attended to repeat the grade, she said.

“We have to deal with children with underlying issues on a case-by-case basis. Every child is important. Those without asthma can not be held back by a child who has asthma. If you are still anxious and doubtful it is understandable.”