The Gauteng Association for Homeschooling appeared before Parliament this week on Tuesday, 29 November 2022. Our mission was simple, though not easy at all: to request the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education (the PCBE) to reconsider the Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill provisions that pertain to home education.


In June 2022, we submitted a written submission, which can be read here. Following this, we were invited to appear before the PCBE for an oral submission.


Our main thrust was that home education is merely an extension of our parenting.  In other words, home education is a part of home life, yet the BELA Bill tries to regulate it as if it takes place in a school context. Accordingly, we took issue with the Bill on 5 main grounds:

  • The assumption that home education follows grades and phases;
  • The definition of home education, which prescribes the home education site;
  • The requirement for home education programmes to be comparable to the national curriculum;
  • The requirement for annual assessments; and
  • The requirement for home educators to seek permission via the stringent and involved process of registration.


We submitted that this section of the Bill should not be passed before comprehensive research and consultation with the stakeholders, has been done. We also submitted that home education should not be singled out for special attention, but should be regulated like all other areas of parenting.


The day had a rocky start, with the computer mysteriously corrupting our final presentation, a short time before we had to start! We also found, despite our preparation, that the questioning was stressful. It was difficult to capture a question and formulate a response, while listening to the next question.


The PCBE questioned, amongst other things, whether without strict regulation and monitoring, the state would be able to determine if learning was happening in homes, especially in a country with high illiteracy rates like ours. They had questions about our research, although we indicated in the presentation that it was internet surveys and not scientific research. The Committee was also concerned that children would not receive adequate education if parents, not trained educators, were responsible for their education.


We answered the questions to the best of our ability, and also tried to give the PCBE a glimpse of our individual homeschool experiences through personal anecdotes, to show that intentional, dedicated parenting, not a set curriculum or even professional qualification, was the essential ingredient for the education of children.


We were also able to network with the individual members of the PCBE during lunchbreak – which we only took at 15:00 in the afternoon because the morning session took so long!


Overall, we found our engagements with the PCBE to be positive and encouraging and we are grateful for the learning experience.


From comments by some committee members it seemed the PCBE needed assurance that we were a legitimate, growing community that is indeed acting in the best interests of our children. That said, we believe we may have the sympathy of a few members of the PCBE. In her closing comments, one of the members, Ms Adoons, stated that “there is a bright future for homeschooling and homeschoolers.”


This was the last sitting of the PCBE for 2022, but provincial public hearings will commence in 2023. We urge all members of the home education community to prepare for engagement with the committee, in the best interests of our children and their children.


Please consider joining our Association and becoming part of the movement to maintain our freedom as homeschoolers. You can find our membership application form here:

Members should please join our Whatsup group to recieve quick communication about the oral hearings.


A huge thank you to our sponsors: Afrikan Legacy Home Education, Cape Home Educators, Learn Free, Let’s Do It 2gether 4 EDUCATION, Pestalozzi Trust, SA Homeschool Beat, SA Homeschoolers, Karin, Uda, Waynne Robertson, and each and every person who donated but wishes to remain anonymous. A special thank you to Brainline, who sponsored two of our delegates.


For any further queries, please contact the Gauteng Association for Homeschooling:

E mail:

Charlene Chauvet-Swart – Chairperson: 083 770 2058

Neeresh Badal – Secretary: 082 560 8277