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AROUND THE GLOBE
Hungary and Romania need your help
Homeschooling is steadily growing in Hungary and Romania. Three years ago, Dr. Robert Rapp of Westminster Biblical Missions discovered that the young Hungarian and Romanian pastors he was training were beginning to homeschool their children and to convince their congregations to do the same. Dr. Rapp contacted Home School Legal Defense Association Senior Counsel Christopher Klicka for help on behalf of these new homeschoolers. At the time, none of the five families homeschooling in Hungary had contact with the others.
Klicka encouraged Dr. Rapp and these pastors to launch national homeschool associations, which are now growing in both countries. For the past three years, the associations have published homeschooling newsletters, hosted spring and fall conferences, and inspired more families to step into the wonderful world of homeschooling.
The Hungarian Home School Association, directed by Reverend Imre Szoke, just held a conference in Miskolc. Dr. Brian Ray from the United States was the keynote speaker. Twenty-five adults and 22 children attended.
Hungarian parents can generally enroll their children in a nearby public school and then teach them at home. Local authorities have an incentive to cooperate with such families, since the state continues to pay schools for the number of students enrolled, regardless of whether the students are taught in the school or at home. Local authorities tend to impose a relatively minimal requirement of monthly testing to make sure that the children are keeping up with the school's material. Meanwhile, the homeschooling parents are free to teach from their own worldview in a one-on-one learning environment.
Although homeschooling is not yet legal in Romania, several hundred parents have indicated a desire to teach their own children. Since regional authorities are not, at the moment, trying to stop home education, the Romanian Home School Association (RHSA) and Director Curcubet Gabriel are boldly promoting this option through conferences, a newsletter, the radio, and TV. So far, RHSA has 12 member families who are homeschooling 18 students.
HSLDA has been helping the Romanian Home School Association lobby Parliament to make homeschooling officially legal and has obtained letters from United States congressmen calling for the Romanian government to support homeschooling.
RHSA cannot stand still. It must move forward, which means having an office of its own, a full-time director, and a secretary, if it is to meet the challenge of having homeschooling legally recognized in Romania. These homeschoolers need our financial assistance and prayers.
The Home School Foundation is willing to coordinate American homeschoolers' efforts to help. HSF has already partnered with Christian Liberty Academy Satellite Schools to provide homeschooling curricula for needy families in both countries. To learn more about Romania's and Hungary's specific needs, visit www.hslda.org/international.
To make a tax-deductible contribution, go to https://secure.hslda.org/HSF/support.asp or send a check to the Home School Foundation, P.O. Box 1152, Purcellville, VA 20134, specifying "Homeschooling in Hungary" or "Homeschooling in Romania." Our combined efforts can help Romanian and Hungarian homeschoolers bring educational freedom to their countries.
How you can help
>> Call or email Germany's ambassador to the United States to express your support for homeschooling in general and for the specific families mentioned in this article:
4645 Reservoir Road NW
Washington, DC 20007-1998
The German Embassy can also be emailed through its website at http://www.globescope.biz/germany/reg/index.cfm.
>> Consider supporting School Instruction at Home. With 180 homeschooling members, the SIH staff works around the clock to represent these families in court and mediate with school districts. German homeschoolers are so grateful that you are helping them continue the legal fight.
To make a tax-deductible gift, go to www.homeschoolfoundation.org or mail your contribution to:
Home School Foundation
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, VA 20134
|- J. Michael Smith|