There is a lot of confusion in our minds as regards to legality of Homeschooling in India. I wrote about it mentioning some articles in the news recently.
(Also see my earlier post – Homeschool legal in India ?)
The Indian Express article I mentioned in earlier post, I am reproducing the same below once again –
….Now, with the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, which stipulates eight years of formal education for all children, parents in favour of homeschooling are confused about whether the Act has scope for the mode of education.
A writ petition to this effect was filed in the Delhi High Court in March this year by 12-year-old Delhi girl Shreya Sahai, who decided to go for homeschooling as it would allow her more flexibility to pursue her interests — music, photography and painting.
In April, the PIL, which said the RTE infringes on the freedom of parents and needs to be amended to accommodate homeschooling, was heard by a High Court Division Bench. While the Bench dismissed the petition, it gave the petitioners eight weeks from April 13 to make a representation to the Ministry of Human Resouce Development, asking for their vision on homeschooling.
In April after the court’s advice, a group of parents who either send their children to alternative schools — there are about 100 such schools in India — and those who homeschool their wards, met in Bangalore to draft a presentation for the MHRD. The homeschoolers also drafted a letter to be sent to Minister of MHRD Kapil Sibal asking him to accommodate homeschooling in the RTE Act or clarify its stand on homeschooling and alternative education.
According to education experts, the RTE Act defines what a school is but does not say every aspect of educating a child will be governed…..
Now, yesterday I got a brilliant email about how to go about homeschooling from Sangeetha on the Yahoo mailing list which I compiled & put it here (Read my post – Home schooling India – Some answers)
This was enlightening and today I got some great pointers by an email from Urmila as regards to legal issues surrounding homeschooling concept in India. Here is the summary of what she says (edited by me) –
….RTE has outlawed people who do not send their children to school between the ages of 6 – 14. People are petitioning the courts.
One can sit NIOS for 10th boards after the age of 14. Whereas, schools who are registered with Open Basic Education and could earlier send children up for earlier examinations have been asked to become regular schools within 3 years or shut down.
IGCSE (a UK board for sitting 10th equivalent board exams directly) is an option. One would have to apply and sit in a Bangalore centre. (Whether IGCSE centre is available in Mumbai, Pune, it needs to be checked)
If you are sure that your child will sit exams and join mainstream education in the end you will have to put in a lot of effort to get disciplined about studies, teaching them yourself or a tuition routine. Traditional homeschooling is quite demanding in that sense.
If you are open to unschooling and your child perhaps not sitting exams, then you can have more fun and be more relaxed on the one hand, but always have to deal with the frightening thoughts, fears, other people’s questions and other intangibles like your own conditioning and pre conceived ideas, which make you always feel that things are ‘spiralling out of control’. It can be a joyful journey once one knows what it is all about and is determined that this (or that) is the way to go!…
So this it. It all boils to what Indian government has to say about homeschooling. And I guess the rules will keep on changing. Since my child is yet to be two, I am not sure as to way forward is homeschooling without any set rules, curricula & exams or homeschooling similar to mainstream education (via NIOS/NOS or IGCSE). That’s the next step I guess to find out about these agencies/institutes.