Education Minister Says Homeschooling Option Is Available; Gov’t Plans To Create An Online School

Michael Browne

Education Minister, Michael Browne, has highlighted the homeschooling of children is an available option and his ministry will assist parents, guardians and students if this approach is taken.

“Homeschooling has existed before Covid and several parents have already taken advantage of the opportunity to homeschool his/her child/children, so that option is available as well” said Browne speaking at a press conference yesterday.

For many parents homeschooling might be the safest option to ensure continued learningin light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

However, Director of Education Clare Browne shared that there are certain procedures involved as it relates to homeschooling.

“The Ministry of Education is looking into all possibilities. Incidentally, the outline, the exact way you apply and everything that pertains to homeschooling, is enshrined in Section 81 of the Education Act of Antigua and Barbuda 2008.

“In addition to that, we have pulled out from the Act the relevant portions that persons would need, inclusive of how to set up an education plan,” Browne said.

“As a matter of fact, last night, an application form was developed and we have pulled out some guidelines that we have placed on the ministry’s website, so parents can just go there, access, download, complete the form, prepare the education plan and submit that application to the Ministry of Education.”

Meanwhile, Browne announced that the ministry has plans to create an online school but admits that it will take some time before it is launched.

“In addition to homeschooling, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is looking into the development of an online school. It is true that we can walk and chew gum at the same time, but…developing a school is not just like abracadabra, it is going to take a little bit [of time] and so we’re looking into that possibility as well” said Browne.