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Jonathan Jansen attacks homeschoolers again

University of the Free State rector Jonathan Jansen is known as being antagonistic towards home Education. Click here for an article of his previous attack on home education where the following statement was made : “Dit is die hoëronderwys-weergawe van tuisonderrig, waar jong mense in ’n eng, bevooroordeelde, “Nederduitse Gereformeerde” denkwyse geïndoktrineer kan word, presies hoe Suid-Afrika in die eerste plek veral sedert die 1940’s in die moeilikheid beland het.

In a recent article he attacked home education again by making the following statement : "Although I sympathise with parents sceptical of public education, teaching is not something parents can do unless they are highly trained,..." This statement caused a lot of unhappiness under homeschooling parents and a number of them write letters to Times Live. A few of these letters are published below.

Two factors are critical to the success of education : An understanding of the education content and an understanding of the child that receives the education. Highly trained teachers might have a better understanding of the education content than parents, but parents can easily compensate for this by consulting Google or Youtube, or the best teachers in the world on Khan Academy. However, parents have a much better understanding of the child that receives the education, and there is very little that teachers can do to compensate for this.


[Shirley Erwee]

Dear Sir/Madam

I was so infuriated to read the unfounded and false comment by Prof Jansen in the closing lines of your article about homeschooling today: ".teaching is not something parents can do unless they are highly trained."

Prof Jansen needs to do his homework. As he well knows every survey shows the school system with the 'highly trained' professional teachers is failing dismally.

In contrast, research in the USA comparing the performance of homeschoolers and public school students on three standardised tests revealed that with public school students at the 50th percentile, homeschoolers were at the 89th percentile in reading, the 86th percentile in science, the 84th percentile in language, math, and social studies.

(The percentile is not the test score, the 89th percentile means that 89% of all students scored lower than homeschoolers in reading, for example.)

The parents' own education had little effect on the academic achievement of homeschooled children: In families where neither parent had tertiary education, homeschoolers scored in the 83rd percentile. If one parent had a university degree, they scored in the 86th percentile. If both parents were university graduates, the students scored in the 90th percentile.

Take note Prof Jansen: Whether or not the parents were certified teachers or not had no effect on the children's academic outcomes.

Parents can teach their children and it is their love and dedication to their children that enables them to do it well...and they never strike!


Shirley Erwee

Home educating mother of 6 children, homeschooling author and activist


[Joy Leavesley]

Dear Editor,

I am writing to you in response to your article on homeschooling. There are some factual errors in the report. It is a shame that these were not corrected prior to publication as it is often difficult to change public perception once an article has flown.  
Homeschooling options legally available to a parents include different forms of instruction so long as it is in the child's home. Section 51 (1) of the South African Schools Act states "A parent may apply to the Head of Department for the registration of a learner to receive education at the learner’s home". It makes no accommodation for tutorial centers as per your article. That is not to say such centers do not exist, but they do not meet the said requirement of homeschooling as per SASA. 

It would be useful for Kobus Maree to quote the research being used when he makes his statement " illiterate parents and people from poor backgrounds had no choice but to settle for what was being offered". This statement is very misleading and further marginalizes a very marginalized group of our society. The research I have available to me states that the parents level of education and household income does not make a significant difference to the academic outcome for the child. This type of thinking is echoed in the statement of Jonathan Jansen when he states "teaching is not something parents can do unless they are highly trained." Again I would be very interested in reading the research which supports this statement. 

I am trusting the the incorrect statements will be corrected in a follow-up article. Please advise me when this happens.



This post first appeared on SA Homeschoolers - Blog Articles, please read the originial post: here

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Jonathan Jansen attacks homeschoolers again


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