As of 1st October, a law allowing homeschooling under certain conditions* will come into force. The concept has been a work in progress since 2019 and couldn’t come at a better time with the onset of the pandemic.
“A one size fits all approach to an education system is no longer viable,” said Dennis Zammit, Head Legal at Malta Further and Higher Education Authority.
Maltese law defines homeschooling as, “progressive education of minors provided or organised by their parents, through this, educators at home provide education towards minors, instead of state or non-state education.”
Here are the requirements for homeschooling to taking place:
1. Firstly the homeschooling must take place for “valid reasons”:
The valid reasons have not been specified in the law, which leaves this as a bit of a grey area. One reason was cited as foreign students who move to Malta with their parents for a few months.
2. The home educator must have a teaching warrant.
Besides having a teaching warrant, the home educator must also be in possession of a license in order to be able to teach.
3. Parents who want to home-school their children must go through with a hefty application process.
The process involves outlining a detailed education program that could be checked from time to time by the respective authorities.
4. The minor(s) must be provided with the same social experience which would take place at a school.
This requirement also leaves much to be desired. There is no mention as to what the ‘same social experience’ is and how to go about it.
5. The minor(s) must be provided with the same experiences and facilities such as those found in schools.
This would also include physical education besides academic. Meaning we could be seeing a lot of parents giving at home P.E. lessons!
6. The minor(s) must follow an accredited programme as approved by the Education Division.
The conditions can also be established by the same Division as it deems fit.
The topic of homeschooling has become more and more relevant due to the pandemic wiping out any semblance of school life. These new laws could set up a foundation for a very interesting approach to modern and holistic education.
However, with so many requirements to get the go ahead to be homeschooled, only time will tell how many children will actaully be educated in this manner.
*An earlier version of the article incorrectly stated that homeschooling can start as of 1st October; that is actually the date the law will come into force.
Would you ever consider being homeschooled?