The Radical Self-Reliance of Black Homeschooling

On Thursday the 28th February the African Heritage Foundation (AHF) under the patronage of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill in conjunction with their week of activities for Black History Month, is screening the documentary “Class Dismissed”.

The AHF advocates for the development of a department dedicated to homeschooling within the Ministry of Education. It also advocates for the development of tangible working relationships between public schools and homeschooling parents. It is the opinion of the AHF that were these developments undertaken, homeschooling would effectively assist with addressing some of the issues that plague our educational system.

Issues such as overcrowded class rooms, one size fits all methods of teaching, creativity in lessons presentation, and individual directed learning are but few of the issues facing the education system in Barbados that homeschooling can assist with rectifying.

For the AHF and many other black homeschoolers, seizing control of their children’s schooling is an act of affirmation—a means of liberating themselves from the systemic racism and classism embedded in the Barbadian educational school system and continuing the campaign for educational independence launched by their ancestors more than a century ago. In doing so, many are channeling an often overlooked history of black learning that’s rooted in liberation from enslavement. When seen in this light, the modern black-homeschooling movement is one tool that can be implemented to aid in the long struggle to change our children’s destiny through education opposed to schooling—and to do so themselves.

THE APOCRYPHAL TWAIN: “I HAVE NEVER LET SCHOOLING INTERFERE WITH MY EDUCATION.”

Mark Twain recognized that educational attainment was neither an exclusive product of schools, nor guaranteed by them. Twain, who would receive honorary degrees from Oxford and Yale despite having no formal education beyond primary school, was characteristically self-effacing and cynical about “the self-taught man” who “seldom knows anything accurately” and “does not know a tenth of as much as he could have known if he had worked under teachers.” Today’s society provides children with a wide range of teachers outside the setting of a formal public schoolroom. Homeschooling opens the door for the use of these teaching tools for parents to utilize as they take personal charge of their children’s education.

As part and parcel of its advocacy for the development of a homeschooling movement in Barbados, the AHF has purchased a documentary on the subject. It is the intention of the AHF that this documentary be seen by those who would like to know more about homeschooling and some of the structures it can take. Although the documentary tells the journey of a white middle to upper class family in their quest to homeschool, the essence of the information presented is not colour or class restrictive.  The Honourable Marcus Mosiah Garvey said, “Always try to associate with people from whom you can learn something. All the knowledge that you want is in the world, and all you have to do is go and seek it.”

“Class Dismissed” has a running time of 90 mins. Following the documentary a discussion led by the AHF will ensue. The topic that will be on the table for discussion is, “The Radical Self – Reliance of Black Homeschooling”.  Three questions will be presented for discourse:

  1. What certification if any should parents possess to be qualified to homeschool?
  2. What should be the required curriculum for homeschoolers?
  3. Should a process of evaluation be required by the state? If so, how should this evaluation process be structured for homeschooled children?

You are invited to do your own research on these questions and share with the AHF and all attending what you have found.

It is intended that a position paper from this activity be produced using information gathered at this forum and delivered to the Minister of Education. So please come prepared to participate in the discussion.

Please note that if you are against homeschooling you are also invited to come and share with us your position on homeschooling.

Activity Info:

Date: 28th February 2019.

Venue: University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus. The Cynthia Wilson Arts Lecture Theatre.

Time: 7pm – 9.30pm

Admin: Free. Contributions to the charity welcome.

The AHF also asks you to take note and support of the other activities planning by the University of the West Indies for their African Awareness Month 2019, week of activities commencing on the 25th and ending on the 28th February 2019.

Program:

Welcome …. 7.00pm – 7.05pm

Pouring of Libations …… 7.05pm – 7.15pm

Introduction to documentary …… 7.15pm – 7.20pm

Documentary …. 7.20pm – 8.50pm

Discussion … 8.50pm – 9.25pm

Vote of thanks … 9.25pm – 9.30pm

We do hope that the Pan-African, Nation Of Islam and Rastafari communities make a special effort to attend and participate in the discussion. It is also hoped that the Minister of Education will attend or send representation who will also contribute to the discussion.

African Heritage Foundation

Author: Admin

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