Business & Economy

Sunday, 24 July 2011 22:25

Court confirms: National Curriculum not binding on private education

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Judge Cynthia Pretorius confirmed in the Pretoria High Court today that the state curriculum is not binding on independent schools and parents who educate their children at home. The judge rejected an application by homeschooling parents and private schools to declare the curriculum non-binding. She decided that a Constitutional Court verdict from 2001 made the application unnecessary.
Mr. Bouwe van der Eems of the Pestalozzi Trust, a legal defence association for civil and home education, nevertheless welcomed the verdict because private educators can now safely ignore demands to teach according to the state curriculum.

He expects that the verdict will bring peace to parents and private education institutions who continually have to resist unlawful pressure from education authorities demanding that they teach according to the national curriculum.

Van der Eems points mentions that tens of thousands of homeschooling parents and thousands of private schools have refused to register with the authorities precisely because officials make unlawful demands such as compliance with the national curriculum as precondition for registration. He is of the opinion that these parents and schools have been vindicated by the verdict.

He says that many parents and schools have also succumbed in the past to intimidation by education officials to comply with such unlawful demands. He expects that more of them will now stand up for the internationally recognised right of children to receive education that differs from that which is offered by the state.

"The Pestalozzi Trust regrets that the case took nearly four years. The case was kept out of court while officials persisted in imposing the curriculum on private education. The Trust calls on education authorities to communicate and consult better with stakeholders in future about the measures that they attempt to impose on private education," concludes Leendert Van Oostrum from The Pestalozzi Trust.

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Afrikaans version

Hof bevestig : Nasionale kurrikulum bind nie private onderwys nie

Regter Cynthia Pretorius het vandag in die Pretoriase Hooggeregshof verklaar dat die nasionale kurrikulum nie bindend is op onafhanklike skole en ouers wat tuisonderwys gee nie.

Die regter het n aansoek deur tuisskolers en private skole, om die kurrikulum nie-bindend te verklaar, verwerp. Sy het beslis dat n uitspraak van die Grondwetlike Hof in 2001 die aansoek oorbodig maak.

Mnr. Bouwe van der Eems van die Pestalozzi Trust, n regsfonds vir burgerlike en tuisonderwys het nogtans die uitspraak verwelkom omdat dit bevestig dat private onderwysinstellings eise om volgens die staatskurrikulum te onderrig, rustig kan ignoreer.

Hy verklaar dat dit rustigheid sal bring by duisende ouers en private onderwysinstellings wat hulle gedurig moet verset teen onregmatige eise en druk van onderwysamptenare dat hulle kinders ooreenkomstig die nasionale kurrikulum moet onderrig.

Hy wys daarop dat tienduisende tuisskoolouers en duisende private skole tot dusver geweier het om by die owerheid te registreer weens onregmatige eise soos dat hulle aan die nasionale kurrikulum moet voldoen as voorwaarde vir registrasie. Van der Eems meen dat hierdie ouers en skole deur hierdie uitspraak gelyk gegee word.

Hy meld dat vele ouers en skole ook tevore geswig het onder intimidasie deur onderwysamptenare om aan sulke onregmatige eise te voldoen. Hy verwag dat meer van hulle nou sal opstaan vir die internasionaalerkende reg van kinders om onderwys te ontvang wat verskil van die onderwys wat die staat aanbied.

"Die Pestalozzi Trust betreur dit dat die saak so lank geduur het. De saak is uit die ho gehou terwys amptenare op alle vlakke volgehou het om die kurrikulum op private onderwys af te dwing. Die Trust doen n beroep op onderwysowerhede om in die toekoms beter met belanghebbendes te kommunikeer en konsulteer oor die maatrels wat hulle op private onderwys probeer afdwing," verklaar Leendert van Oostrum, voorsitter van die Trust.

Read more http://www.mediaweb.co.za/journalist/mnews_j_.asp?id=4013

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