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Education

Kenya to outlaw homeschooling?

Michael F. Haverluck   (OneNewsNow.com) Saturday, November 24, 2012

Will Barack Obama support parental rights in nation of his heritage where he spent $23 million in taxpayer funds to abortion law?


KenyaKenyan parents' days of being able to educate their own children as they see fit may be coming to a close. In a last-minute desperation call, homeschool parents contacted the Virginia-based Home School Legal Defense Association for help to protect their age-old right.

And why could homeschooling soon be a thing of the past in the East African nation? The parliament in Kenya now contends that home instruction could be used by parents to hide abusive and negligent treatment of children from authorities.

Even though homeschooling is still in its early stages in Kenya with relatively small numbers, it has the backing of leaders from one of just a handful of coordinated home education groups on the continent of Africa ─ the East Africa Community of Homeschoolers (EACH). EACH serves some 200 homeschooling families around the Horn of Africa and believes that educating lawmakers about this fundamental right can make headway.

"There are so few of us that it is easy for the parliament to ignore us," says Thomas Mundia, who serves as a member of the East African board of homeschoolers. "There are some in parliament who are open to our ideas, but most are unfamiliar with the concept of home education."

Mundia asserts that if Kenyan lawmakers move forward and push legislation through with the guise of protecting children, parents could end up in jail.

"Kenya is drafting a new law after adopting a new constitution, and this law does not make a provision for home education," Mundia adds. "This puts Kenyan homeschoolers at risk of criminal prosecution."

And like an amendment that Irish voters just approved into their constitution this month that took away parental rights and gave them to their children and the government in the name of protecting children, the Kenyan government is looking to diminish parents' role in raising their children. Pro-family advocates are petitioning for help from abroad to maintain their authority over their homes.

HSLDA, which fights for parents' rights to instruct their children without government interference, was the first choice that Kenyans turned to when battling the government for control of their children. Mundia believes that the organization's legal expertise in parental rights can stem the tide of governmental interference, adding: "I hope that intervention from our international homeschooling friends could help."

Writing up the rights

To counter this latest attack on homeschooling, EACH drafted the Basic Education Bill, 2012 [PDF], which outlines eight basic concerns to the parliament and calls for the observance of parents' rights in the instruction of their children.

But are these rights something that parents must ask for, or something that governments must grant?

According to HSLDA, parents should not have to vie for the right to make decisions about their children's education, stating that "homeschooling is a fundamental right and should be protected in the education legislation now being considered by parliament." The pro-family rights group is urging its members and other Americans to contact Kenya's minister of education, the Honorable Mutula Kilonzo (m.kilonzo@yahoo.com) and remind him of this basic right. HSLDA also calls homeschool supporters to reach members of Kenya's parliament and ask them to include home education in its new legislation.

The Purcellville, Virginia-based organization sends the reminder that parental rights are not just recognized on American shores; they are an inherent right that families should not be denied across the globe.

"This is essential because parents have a 'prior right' to choose the kind of education their children should receive," the HSLDA states. "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."

And the push for homeschooling rights continues around the globe.

Earlier this month in Germany, leaders at the first-ever global homeschooling conference presented the Berlin Declaration, which argues that homeschooling is an inherent and universal right possessed by each and every parent.

A call to Obama?

President Barack Obama, who has Kenyan heritage, has already shown a willingness to influence how that East African nation is run, having spent $23 million in taxpayer money to fund a campaign that worked to pass a constitutional referendum that legalized abortion in Kenya for the first time.

The U.S. president now can be urged to intercede on America's behalf and champion the rights of Kenyan parents to homeschool their own children. The email can also be used to encourage him to support the protection of these rights in the U.S. as well by removing the many obstacles and restrictions homeschoolers presently face across America.


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