Parents Told Approval Needed For Homeschooling

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Clare Browne

Director of Education Clare Browne says approval for homeschooling will not be automatic.

Many parents who are uncomfortable with their children returning to school in September are considering homeschooling.

Browne says however that parents must obtain approval from ministry to home-school their children.

“A parent just doesn’t come to the ministry and make a claim that he/she has come just register a child. An application form for a home education programme must be completed and submitted to the Director of Education. We have created a form which is uploaded on the ministry’s website and parents are advised to download and complete the form,” Browne told Pointe Xpress.

“One of the requirements for the application is the submission of an education plan to the DoE,” Browne explained. He stated that the law requires that the education plan should be submitted to the ministry at least three months prior to the start of the school term. The plan that is to be submitted must detail a three year teaching plan providing details for each individual year,” Browne explained.

“In addition, the education plan shall include a description of the learning activities for the student that will comply with the goals and objectives set out in Section 3 (3) of the Education Act and the education plan shall be based on the national curriculum as established by the minister by law,” he indicated. If approval is granted for homeschooling, the Ministry of Education is mandated to provide oversight in ensuring the child or children are on the same academic level as students in their age group who are attending school. If this is found to be lacking, the programme can be discontinued by the Director of Education.

“The parent need not instruct the child himself/ herself. The parent could engage someone to do this, but the person must have the minimum qualification as other teachers in the public school system,” Browne added. The minimum qualification accepted by the ministry is an associate degree. Director Browne pointed out, however, that an application for homeschooling does not guarantee that permission will be granted.

“An application is no guarantee that permission will be granted. An application is an application and the law says it is the right of a parent to homeschool a child if he/she chooses but with certain conditions. “If those conditions are not met then it is more than likely that the application will be denied. “We have to protect children in spite of the times. We have to ensure our children are protected and are given a quality education,” he remarked. If an application for homeschooling is denied, the applicant may appeal the decision.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. However there is no curriculum for parents of students in first to third form to follow. What is done in this case? What do the teachers of these forms teach from?

  2. I am a teacher in the public school system and I can say that the standards set out for homeschooling are higher than what you get when you send your child to school. As secondary teachers every year we get students who cannot read and they have been through all of primary. Are these students being given an education as set out in the Act section 3? Are they up to their age group standard?

    • So what happens to the children whose parents is not comfortable with them returning to the classroom and does not have an associate’s degree to homeschool their child / children and can’t afford to employ such a person? Are these children going to be left out completely? I am sure they did not take this into consideration.

      • So what do you propose? Simply being “not comfortable” and having no alternative is quite rediculous. Send your damn kids to school.

  3. Antigua dumb ministers and advisors, need to ask parents on the ground what is the best way to move forward. you all started late planning and still want to force people to do what you all feel is best for their children .

    • @sick and tired..during the press conference, the director said that parents were consulted. I am a parent and I wasn’t.

      • The ministry is always on the late planning path. Teachers are being called out to meetings and there are no hand washing stations, no thermometer checks, no sinages, nope… none, none, none…so the ministry/board of education will be rushing to put things in place.

  4. Once the ok is given, who in the Ministry will have the task/time to monitor all these homes to ensure that homeschooling is being done correctly and that children are really benefiting?

  5. Why are ALL the schools not considering virtual classrooms???
    Short videos could be made and send to the children daily, and live classroom sessions could be done. Once live sessions have ended, videos could be played back for clarity.

    A combination of online Questionnaire style testing as well as written tests can be done. Online testing are submitted online and written tests can be dropped off in envelopes by parents to the schools.
    This I believe would’ve been the best option at this time so that parents are comfortable.
    I dont know that I would be able to go through my day without worrying sick about my 7 year old at school.

  6. Why are ALL the schools not considering virtual classrooms???
    Short videos could be made and send to the children daily, and live classroom sessions could be done. Once live sessions have ended, videos could be played back for clarity.

    A combination of online Questionnaire style testing as well as written tests can be done. Online testing are submitted online and written tests can be dropped off in envelopes by parents to the schools.
    This I believe would’ve been the best option at this time so that parents are comfortable.
    I dont know that I would be able to go through my day without worrying sick about my 7 year old at school.

  7. @ concerned parent…Not all students have devices and or internet. The 9000 devices which the government will distribute can’t cover the entire student population in the government schools. Once they are given out, the next question is, “Do these students have internet connections”?

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