Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Bill Should Treat Home Education as a Legitimate Choice

Social Security Bill Should Treat Home Education as a Legitimate Choice

October 31, 2012

Palmerston North, NZ – The Home Education Foundation (HEF) of New Zealand hopes that Parliament and the Select Committee now considering the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill will treat home education as a legitimate choice, says National Director Barbara Smith.

“Home education in New Zealand has come from very small beginnings to be recognised by the Ministry of Education as a viable educational option,” says Mrs Smith.

“In July 2009 the Ministry reduced the number of reviews of home educators, saying ‘This programme is considered to be low risk to the education priorities of the Government.’

“At the time a senior member of the Education Review Office told the Home Education Foundation in personal correspondence, ‘The reality is home schooling has been found to be low risk.’ He went on to note that home educators make use of support networks, that home education is recognised as a viable option, and that over the years the Education Review Office has received ‘mostly positive’ feedback on home education.”

Mrs Smith says this was a vote of confidence in home educators in New Zealand. “Over the years, the evidence showing home education as more than equal to schooling in registered institutions gets higher. As time goes on and the number of home educators grows, we can only expect to see that evidence mount up. It’s time the rest of the government followed the Ministry of Education in affirming home education as a wonderful, viable alternative to institutionalised learning.”

With this in mind, Mrs Smith argues, the Ministry for Social Development has no right to demand compulsory preschool attendance under the new bill.

“Home education provides incredible benefits to children. A parent can give a child a brilliant classical education encompassing all the great subjects of Western civilization with little more than an internet connection, a library card, a little encouragement and a passion for knowledge. Meanwhile, a child attending a state school is held back by the government curriculum and teaching aimed at the lowest common denominator.”

Unfortunately, Mrs Smith says, Ministry of Social Development policy refuses home education exemptions to beneficiaries. “Under MSD policy, beneficiaries can only get an exemption to home educate if it would be ‘unreasonable’ for their child to attend school. And under the new bill, that will be extended to preschoolers so that if you are a beneficiary, you will only be allowed to be with your 3-5 year old children if it would be ‘unreasonable’ for them to attend preschool.”

Mrs Smith hopes that the bill will provide an opportunity for New Zealand to rethink its attitude to home education. “We want Parliament to reject the ‘social obligation’ provisions that will force parents into an educational programme they don’t like, want, or support. We want them to affirm that beneficiaries can bring up good children without being told what to do.

“But we’d also love it if Parliament used this opportunity to address the MSD’s policy against home education. Under the Education Act, parents already need to prove that they can teach their children ‘at least as regularly and well’ as in a registered school, before they are granted an exemption. These are the only criteria in the Act, but the MSD’s policy adds the requirement that beneficiary home educators prove that it would be ‘unreasonable’ to send their children to school. Honestly I find it amazing that a government ministry can add to the law like this and I hope Parliament will take a very serious view of their actions.

“The Ministry of Education believes that home educators can do at least as well as a registered school, and the laws of New Zealand give them permission to try. It’s amazing that the Ministry of Social Development is so far behind the times.”

Mrs Smith encourages all concerned Kiwis to make a submission to the Select Committee by the deadline on November 1. Materials for writing a submission can be found at www.hef.org.nz.

About the Home Education Foundation

The Home Education Foundation has been informing parents for 27 years about the fantastic opportunity to de-institutionalise our sons and daughters and to embrace the spiritual, intellectual and academic freedom that is ours for the taking. Through conferences, journals, newsletters and all kinds of personal communications, we explain the vision of handcrafting each child into a unique individual, complete with virtuous character, a hunger for service to others, academic acumen and a strong work ethic. For more information, please visit www.hef.org.nz or more specifically hef.org.nz/2012/make-a-submission-reject-compulsory-early-education-for-3-year-olds/

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Arming Police: Frontline Police To Routinely Carry Tasers

"In making the decision, the Police executive has considered almost five years worth of 'use of force' data… It consistently shows that the Taser is one of the least injury-causing tactical options available when compared with other options, with a subject injury rate of just over one per cent for all deployments." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On D-Day For Dairy At The TPP

While New Zealand may feel flattered at being called “the Saudi Arabia of milk” it would be more accurate to regard us as the suicide bombers of free trade. More>>

ALSO:

Leaked Letter: Severe Restrictions on State Owned Enterprises

Even an SOE that exists to fulfil a public function neglected by the market or which is a natural monopoly would nevertheless be forced to act "on the basis of commercial considerations" and would be prohibited from discriminating in favour of local businesses in purchases and sales. Foreign companies would be given standing to sue SOEs in domestic courts for perceived departures from the strictures of the TPP... More>>

ALSO:

"Gutted" Safety Bill: Time To Listen To Workplace Victims’ Families

Labour has listened to the families of whose loved ones have been killed at work and calls on other political parties to back its proposals to make workplaces safer and prevent unnecessary deaths on the job. More>>

ALSO:

Regulators: Govt To ‘Crowd-Source’ Regulatory Advice

A wide-ranging set of reforms is to be implemented to shake up the way New Zealand government agencies develop, write and implement regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Board Appointments: Some Minister Appoint Less The 3 In 10 Women

“It’s 2015 not 1915: Ministers who appoint less than 3 in 10 women to their boards must do better, they have no excuse but to do better,” said Dr Blue. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The 1990s Retro Proposals For Our Health System

As we learned yesterday, the reviews propose that the democratically elected representation on DHBs should be reduced, such that community wishes will be able to be over-ridden by political appointees. In today’s revelations, the reviews also propose a return to the destructive competitive health model of the 1990s. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news