Member of the African Heritage Foundation (AHF) and Homeschool Assistant, Stacia Norgrave (left) makes a point as Founder and President of the AHF, Paul Rock listens at a press conference yesterday to discuss the homeschooling controversy regarding a mother who is not being allowed to homeschool her son.

Not acceptable

Mother not allowed to homeschool child

Members of the African Heritage Foundation (AHF) are not willing to accept a decision by the Ministry of Education to prohibit a single mother from homeschooling her 13-year-old son, whom they say is a victim of bullying within the regular school system.

This is according to the founder and President of the AHF, Paul Rock, who spoke about the situation yesterday at the Foundation.

“…We don’t accept the decision of the Ministry. We don’t think that it is just. We think that it is against the mother’s constitutional and certainly her human rights and we need to address it. We at the African Heritage Foundation, we have been to court with the Ministry as you know, and we are willing to go again.”

He said that while they do not want to take the matter to court, they will if they have to. He also alleges that there [are] other parents who are being allowed to homeschool their children who have not had a proper assessment carried out by the Ministry and, therefore, he wants to know why this mother is being held to different standards. “We don’t want to go there. The mother has already engaged her lawyers, all communications have been sent to him, but we don’t want it to go to that,” he stated, adding that he wanted to alert the public, ministers and the relevant people that there is a situation.

“Mind you, we have other parents that had applied to homeschool way before this mother. They have never been visited by the Ministry. Not once. They have never been called by the Ministry. Not once. I know mothers who have been homeschooling for years, they have never been approached by the Ministry, so why this mother, why now?”

“We sent a letter to the Ministry asking them to allow us to assist with the monitoring of the homeschoolers and this is because we understood that there was a rise in poor people wanting to homeschool and I think that this the problem. It is not a racist thing. It is not a black and white thing. It becomes – like everything else in Barbados – a classism thing.”

He added that they have contacted both the Ministry and the Prime Minister asking them to look into the matter regarding this mother. “We have drafted letters asking the Ministry of Education and the Prime Minister to look into this situation, reevaluate it and allow the mother to continue to homeschool her child.” (PJT)

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