As economy bug bites hard, Kenyan parents are looking the most feasible alternative to put their children through a decent and legit education system, homeschooling. Currently, sections of the Basic Education Act provide that a child should be registered either in a private or a public school, limiting the rights of a parent to determine the forum and manner in which the child will receive an education.
Two adults have challenged these sections of the Education Act by moving to court seeking to have homeschooling recognised as a legitimate alternative system of education. In their petition, school enrolment requirement limits the scope of education and is contrary to the child’s right to freedom of conscience, opinion, belief and free will.
“The non-recognition of homeschooling as a form of education which guarantees a child’s right to education contravenes the rights of children who may opt for this system of education as well as the right of the parent to determine a cause that would take care of the child’s interest,” reads a petition filed in a Kakamega court.
One of the parents, Silus Shikwekwe Were was early this year was arrested and accused of renouncing his responsibility to enrol the children at school who needed care and protection. Shikwekwe argued that the arrest and questioning of his children were illegal and in violation of the children’s right.
Constitutionally, there is no conclusive empirical evidence or guarantee that the enrolment of a child in school inculcates quality education, morals, values and principles in the child according to the two. Formal enrollment and sitting through in class may not be a manner that best promotes a child’s well-being and full development.
“Consequently, the classroom is transformed into a detention facility which subjects a child to mental torture thereby limiting and or inhibiting the full development of the child,” they argued.
The two parents argue that they are among the many parents in Kenya who have chosen to provide home education to their children which is broadly regarded as a system where parents teach their children an academic curriculum at home instead of sending them to a public or private school.