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Home schooling not a bad idea

China Daily | Updated: 2013-08-28 09:40

A recent survey shows that about 18,000 elementary-level students are undergoing "home schooling", with their mothers being chiefly responsible for their education. The children's parents have decided to coach them at home because they don't agree with the education being imparted in schools, says an article in Chongqing Times. Excerpts:

Some parents even in other countries have chosen to teach their children at home. In the early 1970s when home schooling first gained acceptance in the US, only about 2,000 families were coaching their children at home. But by 2003, their number had jumped to 1.1 million, accounting for 2.2 percent of the then 55 million school-age children.

Most of the parents in China reject the idea of home schooling because the practice does not have legal support. But by doing so they may be ignoring students' fundamental rights.

In countries where home schooling has got the official stamp, only parents who have government certification to teach can coach their children at home. And, of course, they have to use recommended textbooks and regularly report to school authorities about the progress of the wards. In comparison, very few in China cares about this group.

Moreover, according to the survey, four of the top five reasons why parents choose home schooling are related to deep-rooted problems in traditional schools. Also, some parents who opt for "home schooling" for their wards prefer to send them abroad for studies. These two factors make it necessary for the government to provide parents with multiple education channels for their children to choose from.

To ensure that children undergoing home schooling do not suffer in the future, the government must recognize and regulate the practice, because diversification of education will not only help phase out the existing exam-oriented education, but also further the original purpose of quality education.

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