The Maltese Home Schooling Association seeks to reverse the need for a teaching mandate to provide home schooling.
In a letter to the Ministry of Education, made available to the media, the MHEA stated “the option of the rich and rewarding experience of learning at home, linked to a community of like-minded families, with regular extracurricular activities through the MHEA, is currently denied to Maltese families. “
The registered voluntary organization, active since 2016, was responding to recent press releases regarding the entry into force of “home schooling” under the new education law. “It has greatly disappointed us that despite many requests for meetings, with the desire to contribute and cooperate in the development of the law on home schooling in our islands, the Ministry of Education has continuously ignored us,” said declared the association.
We have sought this interaction as we recognize that there is a lack of understanding within the Maltese Islands regarding home schooling. This has led many families to leave the islands to access this right. Malta has demanded that home schooling be available only to those with a teaching mandate, who are licensed and provide a “valid reason”.
No right of recourse or appeal has been foreseen in the event of a failure of an application, with an increased threat of heavy fines for the non-compliant. The rigid framework provided does not inspire confidence in the growing community of families on our islands who want the best for their children above all else through excellent family and community education, the letter said.
Under the current state of administration of the law, Maltese families will not have the same access to home schooling as in Europe, the United States, Canada and other countries where it is accepted that home-schooled children attend programs that do not require parents to have a teaching qualification.
It’s not a school setting and it shouldn’t look like one. The role of the educator is to connect students to learning pathways, often through accredited programs, leading to graduate and further study. Home schooling offers families the opportunity to give their children an education that promotes curiosity, natural discovery processes and critical thinking, the association said.
It enables learners to become familiar with their own learning styles, strengths, weaknesses and preferences at an early stage and with deep intensity. The purpose of learning goes beyond just preparing for exams – it is preparing for life. Records show that home-educated children continue their education and training, excelling in higher education, as they are accustomed to doing research and are able to quickly understand university standards of research and learning.
Free and compulsory education is a worthy privilege to which every child is entitled. Yet in Malta in the 21st century we are still in a position where the majority of families do not have the right to choose the type of education their children will receive. It is part of our European human rights. In the range of schooling options, the heart of the decision must be the best interests of the child, with a parent’s intimate knowledge of what is right for their family, the association said.
We therefore ask that the education authorities finally pave the way for a collaboration with us as a voluntary organization so that we can demonstrate why the precondition of a teaching mandate must be revised so that home education becomes a reality at the level of international standards.
The implementation of a supportive enrollment process for home schooling families should be established as early as the new school year approaches. In conclusion, we reiterate that the MHEA welcomes all measures to protect vulnerable children and young people and affirms that there should be the necessary oversight to ensure that home-educated children receive the real education that their parents claim. to be.
We look forward to the ministry’s comments and hope that the review will also cover the needs of Maltese families whose choice is home schooling, the association said.