By now you must have heard about the BELA Bill. You have probably also read scary articles about how it will impact homeschooling families. If you are a Clonard homeschooling family then you have nothing to worry about.
The draft Bill deals mostly with the regulation of mainstream schools in South Africa (both public and private). Section 25, which is one page long, deals with homeschooling.
Summary of Section 25 of the draft BELA Bill:
- parents must register with the Department of Education as homeschoolers
- home education must be in the best interests of the learner
- parents need to understand the responsibility of homeschooling and must be equipped for it
- the work covered needs to be appropriate to the learner’s age, grade and ability
- the work needs to cover appropriate skills and content at least comparable to the South African curriculum
- parents must ensure access to suitable educational resources for the learner
- parents must have the learner assessed once a year by a competent assessor
- after grade 9 parents can continue with home education, but must register the learner with an Umalusi accredited provider for grade 12
- the DoE may cancel a learner’s registration as a homeschooler if it is no longer in the best interests of the child (but only after notifying the parent and giving them a chance to appeal)
Clonard families will be absolutely fine if the draft BELA Bill goes into law exactly as it is.
The only thing that will change for Clonard families will be that parents must register with the DoE as homeschoolers – a sometimes lengthy process, but ultimately successful. Read more about registration in our blog post here.
The other points covered in the Bill are to make sure that children receive a quality education in line with the South Africa curriculum. Clonard is already in line as we include CAPS approved textbooks. Clonard also includes other things required by the DoE such as an attendance register and continuous assessment tasks.
Clonard’s teachers are fully qualified. They set and mark the exams. We issue formal reports each year. This already meets the new BELA Bill’s external assessment requirement.
If you do not use a formal curriculum provider such as Clonard, then it may be a good time to start.
Clonard offers excellent support for our comprehensive curriculum. We are in line with DoE requirements. We maintain high standards in line with private schools.