Saturday, October 28, 2017

Affidavit filed by Kerala homeschooling family in response to an NGO's CWC complaint

Affidavit filed by a Kerala homeschooling family to CWC in reply to complaints filed by an NGO. 

Personally I feel that NGOs have bigger (and real) fish to fry when it comes to ensuring all kids are getting an education, and should leave the folks who aren't causing any real problems to society, alone. 

Homeschooling is an internationally accepted method of education, all major universities accept home-schooled students, as entrance exam processes evaluate them on same footing with schooled students and they are able to compete without issues. Many home-schooled students have gotten famous for excelling in academics beyond their age, many start respectable careers while their counterparts are still graduating college. Maharashtra is creating an open learning board for facilitating learners beyond school, and NIOS is a national board serving this already. And I personally know many homeschooled children who are way better at socialising than other kids their age, particularly in self-confidence when speaking with adults and resourcefulness (ability to find answers and solve problems by self initiative). 

The question that folks in edu sector need to ask, then, is that what if there are better ways to educate kids out there beyond the decades-old structures we are used to, that yield higher efficiency and better outcomes for the same or lower inputs? What if it's possible to learn those new methods and apply them in existing schools rather than complaining to the CWC when we come across them as this particular NGO did?

For researchers / analysts, here's an opportunity for a comparative study : Audit the expenses (factoring in educator time and energy invested and pupil's time sequestered) incurred by government and private sector schools, per child. Compare that with the expenses incurred by homeschooling families for the same, per child. Use different units of measurement if need be, like keeping financial and time expenses separate. Be sure to compare in similar income / standard of living groups and factor out or in the kinds of expenses that schooled childrens' parents incur outside of school to ensure honest comparison.

Example : if schooled parents also make extra investments in dance or karate classes then either 1) don't include that in the homeschooler family's education expenses when comparing with schooling expenditure, as it won't be an honest comparison, or 2) add this to the schooling expenditure.

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