Israeli homeschooling came to light in their recent national news article. The Committee on Children’s Rights chair had concerns, making one wonder what she and others understand about the homeschool community. Child abuse was the subject, but facts seemed to get in the way of opinionated ignorance.
Committee on the Rights of the Child: More regulations on homeschooling
By Lidar Gravé-Lazi
Homeschooling may shelter families belonging to dark cults, said MK Orly Levy-Abecassis (Yisrael Beytenu) during a discussion of the Committee on the Rights of the Child on Tuesday.
The committee convened to discuss the issue of abuse of minors in Israel, and the haredi cult Lev Tahor (Pure Heart) in Canada.
MK Levy-Abecassis referred to the fact that the Education and Welfare and Social Services ministries have granted families of certain sects permission to home-school their children.
“We must eradicate this dangerous phenomenon by coordinating with the ministries of Education and Welfare, and through examinations at every turn, before allowing homeschooling,” said Levy-Abecassis.
In the Jerusalem Post article, an Israeli immigrant from the United States offered her view of Israeli government assumptions on homeschooling:
According to Ronit Peskin, an olah (immigrant to Israel) from the United States who homeschooled her second-grade son, until this year, “in Israel, contrary to the US, you have to prove that you are worthy to educate your children at home. Yes, there are abusive parents, but I don’t believe home-schoolers abuse their children more than any other group. “Do the ministry officers go into every home, where there are children, to check if abuse is taking place? Why is the assumption only relevant to home-schoolers?”
The problem arises when parents do not notify the relevant ministries of their intention to home-school, and children are left out of the system entirely.
“It is not the state’s business how you educate your children.
Many US government/school officials are of the same opinion as some of the committee members in Israel. Fortunately in the US, the bureaucrats often don’t have the control given to Israeli Education Ministry.
Not surprisingly, there appears to be an underground homeschool movement in Israel. Not because these families are abusive or “delusional”, but likely because they want no obstacles in the way of their child’s education.