Meetings between homeschoolers & government
The first day of this meeting was experienced very positive by all parties. The representatives of the homeschooling community were positive, because they received ample time to state their case. Sufficient opportunity was given to address concerns that were raised during the discussion sessions.
The chairman of the meeting was dr. Simelane from the Department of Basic Education (DBE). All parties with whom I spoke were very impressed with the fair and professional way that he managed the meeting. He also made a point of it to remind everybody on a regular base that the purpose of the meeting is to determine what is in the best interest of the children.
The homeschooling speakers, Johan & Linda Heckroodt (CHE), Elize van der Merwe (KZN) and Leendert van Oostrum gave excellent presentations. The Department of Education repeatedly mentioned that these presentations were well researched and provided valuable insights. The respondent to the legal presentation was by prof. Woolman from Wits University. He provided valuable insights into how the constitutional court would view things as parental rights, childrens rights and many other legal terms.
It is hoped that this good start will be a sound foundation for a long term consultative engagement between the homeschooling community and the DBE, that would eventually lead to a regulatory environment with which both parties are satisfied.