Take Action for Homeschool Freedom in South Africa

UPDATE 13 NOVEMBER 2017

The Pestalozzi Trust has urged all home educators to send letter of objection to the BELA Bill.

Since insufficient time for public consultation was given, it is important for there to be a large body of evidence ( letters of objection) as proof of the lack of consultation and proof of the public’s outcry against this draft bill. If the Bill gets steamrollered through Parliament, there will need to be a court case and this evidence will be vital for a successful outcome in that instance.

To assist home educators with drafting letters of submission, the Pestalozzi Trust has published the following documents and BELA Bill Submission Guidelines:

  1. BELA FACT SHEET/ FEITEBLAD
  2. Step-by-Step Guide to Make A BELA Bill Submission
  3. Stap-vir-stap-gids Hoe om ‘n voorlegging oor die BELA Bill te skryf
  4. Submission Letter Individuals Template
  5. Summary Sheet

You can also find more information and the excerpt from the BELA Bill pertaining to home education HERE (opens in a new tab)

Letters can be emailed to Adv. Rudman at the DBE at Rudman.D@dbe.gov.za

Please send a BCC copy to the Pestalozzi Trust at this email address:  homeschoolfreedom1996@gmail.com


 

UPDATE 25 October 2017

Adv Rudman’s office has been inundated with emails requesting an extension and he has asked the public to stop emailing.

He will make an announcement on Friday 27 October regarding the possibility of extending the closing date for comments.

Request to join the BELA BILL group on Facebook to stay up to date on this matter.


 

You urgently need to respond to the call to be proactive in the letter which follows, which was published by the Pestalozzi Trust, the homeschool legal defence association in South Africa.

Please encourage family members and friends, who support the right of parents to choose the form of education that is in the best interests of their children, to also take action.

23 October 2017


 

Dear Educator and/or Member of the Pestalozzi Trust

URGENT: PLEASE ASK FOR AN EXTENSION OF TIME TO COMMENT ON HOME ED LAW

I would like to thank all of you for your suggestions and pledges of support over the last few days. I also know that many of you are for good reason very eager to join the fight for our rights and your families. I also appreciate your patience, and allow me to assure you that we have been working feverishly in the background getting ready to respond.

SUMMARY: The Department of  Basic Education “DBE” has published the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill for public comment (due by 10 November 2017).  Section 2 on ‘compulsory school attendance’ and Section 25 in particular on ‘registration for home education’, would seriously restrict your freedom and add costs to you as a home educator. Given that it is now exam time followed by the festive season, that we were poorly consulted before, and that the proposals have such serious implications for home educators that we need to time to study, and consult with other and our legal representatives, we have written to the DBE to ask for an extension to comment  period until the 15th February 2018.  Please could you urgently write a letter preferably in your own words to Adv Rudman at rudman.d@dbe.gov.za to ask for more time and Bcc a copy to homeschoolfreedom1996@gmail.com.

Read our motivation for more time at 2017 Letter from Pestalozzi Trust to Dept of Basic Education
Please also read the full Bill at https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/41178_gon1101.pdf

We [the Pestalozzi Trust] will be contacting you again next week to discuss how the bill will affect you.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO RIGHT NOW

The first battle in our fight is to obtain an extension to the closing date for the public comment on the draft Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill. On the 18th of October 2017, the Pestalozzi Trust presented the attached request to the office of Adv. Rudman at the Department of Basic Education. We spoke to Adv. Rudman, and he acknowledged receipt of the letter from the Pestalozzi Trust.

You will see from the request that home educators have been very significantly prejudiced by the lack of consultation.

We now need your support

We now need your support to ensure that this request is successful.

HOW TO MAKE SURE YOUR VOICE IS HEARD

(a) Send a letter
You can do this in the following way:

1. You can copy, amend and sign a form letter that we have drafted and submit it to the DBE. Please only use this as your second option and if you really feel you can’t write a personalized letter. Find it attached as: Extension letter individuals form letter.docx [This is second best.]
2. Draw up your own letter. You can look at the template and the sample letter, and then use these as a basis to draw up your own request. Find them attached as: Extension Letter Individuals template.docx and Extension letter individuals sample.docx

We understand that everyone will not be comfortable with the second option, but drafting a personalized request will have the most impact. Please BCC the letter to homeschoolfreedom1996@gmail.com, which is the e-mail address we have created for the BELABill campaign. This allows the Trust to keep a record of the actual requests for extension. Thank you!

As a member of the public you don’t need to sound like an organization or format your response like an organization, although it is best to use the same basic format.

(b) Call Adv Rudman to confirm receipt
Once you have submitted your request for an extension please call Adv. Rudman on (012) 3573856 to confirm they have received your request. Take the opportunity to ask for the extension again. Please keep calling until you get a response.

(c) Tweet
As soon as you have done that, please tweet about your experience using #BELAbill, #homeschoolfreedom, #nocommentduringexams

(d) Please also post to the Pestalozzi Trust Facebook page

We understand that some of you feel intimidated and do not want to leave details with the DBE. That is very understandable. You will see that we have raised this with the DBE. There is no reason for those asking for extensions of time to mention that you are a home schooler.  So if you are concerned then don’t mention you are a home schooler.
If you do not want to be identified please call Adv. Rudman (turn off you caller ID) explain your fears. Then e-mail us at the Trust and tell us that you called. We want to keep track of how many people have called the DBE. This will strengthen our case.

Regards,

Karin van Oostrum
(Executive Officer: Pestalozzi Trust)

Pestalozzi Trust (IT6377/98)
die regsfonds vir tuisonderwys en burgerlike onderwys
the legal defence fund for home and civil education