China Adopts Policy Officially Condemning Homeschooling

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The General Office of the Ministry of Education in China released its first official statement in February that condemns homeschooling and warns Chinese parents it is a forbidden practice.

“The statement follows a related decision by the Communist Party’s Central Committee in December, when it mandated that education must include ideological teachings on socialism, and that these teachings must be incorporated in the national curriculum,” writes Mike Donnelly, director of global outreach for the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).

The Chinese government’s new policy states, “[Students] should not be allowed to study at home to replace the national unified implementation of compulsory education.”

According to the Communist Party’s instructions, “core socialist values” should be part of the national curriculum and “cover all schools and those receiving education.”

Parents who wish to homeschool their children for health issues are now required to obtain province-level approval.

“Chinese law does not allow for homeschooling,” observed the South China Morning Post in January of 2014. “The Compulsory Education Law, promulgated in 1986, mandates nine years of education for all children at registered schools, whether public or private. Homeschooling beyond kindergarten is, in theory, illegal.”

The government had not previously enforced the law, however, leading more parents to opt for homeschooling or have their children attend other home schools led by parents with similar views. Enforcing the law fully would essentially ban homeschooling altogether.

“China has signed numerous international human rights treaties that affirm the rights of parents and children to access home education,” Donnelly points out.

A 2013 Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report noted that a survey conducted by the 21st-Century Education Research Institute found of 18,000 Chinese parents who expressed interest in…

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