HOME SCHOOLING / INTERNATIONAL
Kenya
Kenya

November 14, 2012

Homeschool Movement Ignored by Parliament

Kenyan homeschoolers are concerned that the proposed education law moving through their parliament will prevent them from exercising their right to homeschool their children.

Homeschool leaders in the African country have told Home School Legal Defense Association that members of parliament have raised concerns that homeschooling would be used by negligent and abusive parents to hide from authorities. Lawmakers have also said that they do not wish to spend time on an issue they consider insignificant given the small number of Kenyan homeschooling families.

Leaders of the East Africa Community of Homeschoolers, one of the few organized homeschool groups on the continent, have asked HSLDA for help. We are asking our members and friends to intervene to support the fledgling homeschool movement in Kenya. Although small in numbers, homeschool parents in Kenya should be protected in their fundamental right to choose how their children are educated.

“Fundamental Right”

The Berlin Declaration presented at the first-ever global homeschool conference held in Germany’s capital in early November outlines the case for homeschooling as a fundamental right of all parents.

Thomas Mundia, a member of the board of East African homeschoolers, is hopeful.

“There are so few of us that it is easy for the parliament to ignore us,” he said. “There are some in parliament who are open to our ideas, but most are unfamiliar with the concept of home education. Kenya is drafting a new law after adopting a new constitution, and this law does not make a provision for home education. This puts Kenyan homeschoolers at risk of criminal prosecution. I hope that intervention from our international homeschooling friends could help.”

Action Needed

HSLDA is asking its members and friends to contact the minister of eduction for Kenya, the Honorable Mutula Kilonzo, at m.kilonzo@yahoo.com. Please tell him that homeschooling is a fundamental right and should be protected in the education legislation now being considered by parliament.

HSLDA also encourages its members and friends to contact members of the Kenyan parliament to politely encourage them to provide for home education in their new law. This is essential because parents have a “prior right” to choose the kind of education their children should receive. This was recognized by Article 26(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and also the United States Supreme Court. While government may have an interest in the education of their citizens, it should protect this important right of parents to choose home education.