Today the Ministry of Education (MOE) dispatched an officer, accompanied by police to the residence of a mother who did not send her children back to school at the start of this term.
Earlier this evening the African Heritage Foundation (AHF) received a complaint from a mother, that an officer from the MOE accompanied by a couple police officers went to her home today. The visit was in relation to her not sending her children to school at the start of this school term.
The mother had applied for permission to homeschool two of her children in February of this year. After not receiving any communication from the MOE as to her application, she called to inquire what was happening. She was told by the MOE that her application was misplaced and that she would have to submit another. It was also told to the mother at this time, that interviews in relation to homeschooling applications would start in September. This made no sense to the mother. She was, and is still of the opinion, that holding such interviews in September had little merit, as that was the time the new school year would start. The mother, although annoyed with the situation, proceeded to make her second application. Once again, when she did not hear from the MOE, she called to inquire what was taking place with her application. Again she was told that her application could not be found. The mother told the person she was speaking to at the MOE, the date the submission was made and who the application letters were addressed to. This information allowed the person on the telephone to find her application.
The mother was called by the MOE for an interview regarding her homeschooling application in September just as she was told before. The MOE granted the mother permission to homeschool and told her she would have to return to them to collect the official letter of permission when it was typed up. She was instructed to notify the various schools her children attended that she had gained permission from the MOE to homeschool. This she did, and was told by the school that her children’s names could not come off the register until the official letter of permission from MOE was brought in. The school called the MOE to verify the mother’s claim and found it to be true.
Today the MOE sent an officer accompanied by police to the mother’s home in relation to her not sending her children to school. It would seem that the left hand of the MOE is not aware of what the right hand is doing. The mother was not home at the time the officer and police arrived. Her partner and father of the children was home to speak with the officer of the MOE and police. He told his partner on her return home that the officer from the MOE spoke to him in a very disrespectful and demeaning manner.
This is the second complaint from a homeschooling parent to the AHF, in relation to the disrespectful manner in which they were spoken to by an officer of the MOE.
The AHF has called the MOE to arrange a meeting with the Chief Education Officer (CEO) to address this issue. They were not able to speak to the CEO, however it was told to them, that they would receive a call later that day with the date of the requested meeting. The AHF is still awaiting that call. It must also be noted, prior to this the AHF would have sent a letter to the Minister of Education regarding the treatment of some homeschooling parents by the MOE. No response has come from that office to date.
It is hoped that this, and other related articles that speak to the manner in which the MOE treats some parents who wish to have their children homeschooled, reaches the eyes of persons with the authority to seriously address the issues presented in these articles. It is also hoped that media houses investigate these issues and bring more public awareness to them . Sadly it would seem that unless an overseer is present, efficient work will not be done by the MOE. We must be the overseers in this case.
The AHF closes this article by reiterating that it is the right of parents to homeschool their children. You the parent have the right to seek the best mode of education you see fit for your children. They are your children!
The African Heritage Foundation.