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Swiss NGO Says Homeschooling is Good for Freedom

by Mike Donnelly • December 17, 2018

A robust homeschool movement is a good indication of a nation’s overall freedom—and don’t just take our word for it.

A report issued by OIDEL, a Swiss NGO focused on promoting educational freedom worldwide, includes homeschooling as a factor in its Freedom of Education Index.

Simply put, countries that encourage homeschooling have more freedom than those that don’t. Or, to quote the report, homeschooling “is an excellent way to assess the degree of confidence that the government has in its citizens.”

Top of the List

It’s no surprise, then, that OIDEL’s findings place countries in North America and Europe at the top of its list for educational freedom. Lagging behind in educational freedom are nations in regions that typically do not permit homeschooling, such as the Middle East and parts of Asia.

The report notes that “homeschooling is currently an increasing phenomenon” which “has grown globally.”

Nations cited for their intolerance toward home education (and lower levels of educational freedom) include Turkey, Sweden, Spain, Peru, Nicaragua and Zimbabwe. Countries with burgeoning homeschool movements include Brazil, Bolivia, Curacao, Honduras, Iceland, Israel, Jamaica, Luxembourg, and Mexico.

Exposing an Excuse

Another interesting aspect of the report is how it undermines an argument employed by nations such as Germany to justify their disdain for home education.

German officials have often excused their persecution of homeschool families by claiming that home education promotes activities and ideas that can undermine a nation’s overarching ethos. German federal courts, for example, have upheld a ban on home education because judges believe that children can only learn to be tolerant in public or state-approved educational institutions.

The OIDEL report belies this assertion by pointing out that there is little or no correlation between a restrictive approach to education and a healthy society. The authors conclude: “We cannot affirm that freedom of education has a negative effect on social cohesion.”

In short, the data confirm what Home School Legal Defense Association has asserted for 35 years. Allowing parents more choices in educating their children is an overall positive. And protecting the right of parents to homeschool is a necessary ingredient in a democratic, free country. Conversely, a country that does not promote freedom of education is intolerant and not truly pluralistic.

To learn more about the report click here.

Michael Donnelly

Senior Counsel, Director of Global Outreach

Mike is an attorney, writer, adjunct professor of government, and frequent media spokesperson on homeschooling, freedom, and parental rights. Read more.

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