The Basic Education Bill is a final product of almost 16 previous versions emanating from the Task force report on the realignment of the education sector to the constitution (2012). The bill is informed by a desire to not only address the disparities in education but curb parental neglect to take children to school. The Bill borrows heavily from American philosophy of Education (John Dewey) as well as combination of legal terms from various international laws and agreements that Kenya has ratified. The bill exhibits the global threat that marriage and family face today i.e. disguised within so called progressive laws.
Overall the bill is ambiguous and inconsistent in its use of legal jargon while at the same time shifting to the extreme in state control of education freedom. Home schoolers’ main concerns with this bill are:
- Absence of the explicit mention of ‘home education or schooling’ as a form of school. This is inconsistent with recommendations from the earlier mentioned task force report that recognized the role of home schools.
- The conspicuous absence of parental rights in the education of their children in the guiding principles of the Law. Parents are the first and primary educators of their children and have the right to choose the form of education for their children at all levels. This wording is lacking in the document as well as the Constitution. The education Law depicts the global crisis in education where the aims of education are not clear while the family is ignored as a source of education.
- The Law should recognize that parents are also educators and not just teachers.
East Africa Community of Homeschoolers (each) wrote to the Parliamentary committee seeking a meeting to present our concerns but never got a reply.
EACH through The Voice of The Family in Africa International (VOFA) and the Kenya Episcopal conference (KEC) presented their proposals to the Parliamentary committee
EACH memorandum was finally delivered to the Minister of Education on 14th November and confirmations of his reading it sent back to us.
Homeschoolers Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) posted the situation of homeschooling in Kenya on their website and are currently providing legal advice on strategy. http://www.hslda.org/hs/international/Kenya/201211140.asp
The Minister of Education has presented an amended version of the Education Bill (incorporating approved proposals) to the clerk of the National assembly for publishing and debate on the floor of the house this week of 26th November 2012.
We do not know yet if our proposals have been incorporated. The Minister has been meeting with religious leaders but we are concerned that none of them has voiced parental rights!!.
Yesterday 28th November, the Minister asked for Thomas Mundia’s email address (spearheading the lobbying group). The international phone calls and emails coming from HSLDA members have created pressure and it is bearing fruit. International Homeschoolers please continue sending those emails! http://www.hslda.org/hs/international/Kenya/201211140.asp
HSLDA have referred us to a very resourceful American couple now living in Kenya and we are in touch with them for guidance on strategy (Matt and Jennie Chancey).
Homeschoolers should contact and meet any friendly (and hopefully vocal) Members of Parliament as soon as possible to present our concerns during the debate on the floor of the house. Use the memorandum sent to all since our best bet now is to fight this bill on the floor of the house!!
Most importantly: Pray, Pray, Pray….