Homeschooling parents must stand up to avoid that South Africa becomes like Germany
The German Consulate recently arranged an event where Germans and South-Africans could celebrate the constitutions of these two countries. Parents in South Africa can certainly celebrate the freedom that they received with the acceptance of a new constitution in South Africa in 1994.
According to the South African constitution, children have the right to parental care. Parental care also includes the transfer of values, because it is your values that determine how you will live. The constitution does not say that parental care excludes the transfer of values, in order to protect the unionised teacher’s profession. The constitution therefore gives parents the right to educate their children at home, to ensure that the children do not learn conflicting values at home and at the school, since such conflicts would infringe on the children’s right to parental care.
German children do however not the right to such parental care. In Germany a family complained that their children were taken the police from their house to the public school. In response to the complaint German authorities acknowledges that there is a problem when they state : “It is known to the ministry of education that primary school students can be particularly burdened by the related contradiction between the norms of the parent-house and that of the public school through such forced escorts.”
A letter from the German government about a family who’s children were taken by the police from their house to the public school, makes the following statement: “In order to avoid this in future, the education authority is in conversation with the affected family in order to look for possibilities to bring the religious convictions of the family into line with the unalterable school attendance requirement."
In Germany, parents are jailed and children are confiscated if parents would like to provide the type of parental care that many South African parents are giving their children.
Although South African parent can celebrate their constitution, they cannot trust that the government will honour this constitution. In 2001, the minister of education, dr. Kader Asmal made the following statement : “No. I've always believed in a unitary school system, like the German system, but the Constitution says there will be private schools so I have no problem with them. There are many private schools with a Cambridge examination which I have problems with. It's based entirely on an English syllabus, and we're trying to create a South African school system with values that are truly South African.”
If South African parents do not stand up for their rights, South Africa may end up where Germany is currently. It is therefore important that homeschooling parents should make an effort to attend the BCVO court case in Pretoria, to support the fight for educational freedom.
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