Authorities Legalize Homeschooling for Pilot Group
by Melanie Kos-Paula, Guest writer • January 7, 2019
Greetings from the Caribbean island of Curaçao, where our small homeschooling movement is working to improve the legal situation and to grow.
As of this school year, the government has officially granted the parents in our group (about five of us) the legal right to homeschool our children.
Along with Samantha and Ulysses Locadia, on behalf of our group I have been pressing officials to recognize that island law really does permit homeschooling. We believe that under Article 4, subsection 2 of the Curaçao Compulsory Education Act parents may invoke this right when they have pressing objections against the orientation of all existing schools on the island.
(Parents educating by other means must be able to substantiate that their children are receiving adequate education. Learn more by reading the education act here.)
We shared this belief during a meeting with Minister of Education Marilyn Alcalá-Wallé and her staff. They designated us as the pilot group for homeschooling on the island and plan to glean from our experiences in order to better support home education in the future.
It needs to be noted that two parents in our group have been granted permission to take part in the pilot project, not because they have pressing objections against the orientation of all existing schools on the island, but for other reasons. Their children are highly gifted and do not fit in the regular school system.
The minister of education has pledged that her staff and legal experts will look further into this and other types of cases. Our hope is that homeschooling can be made available for these types of situations as well.
I’m happy to report that the Minister of Education has given several interviews on radio and in the newspapers stating that she is very satisfied with the way homeschooling is taking shape on the island. Here is a link to one of the interviews (in Dutch).
We are concerned that apparently one family on the island has not been granted permission to homeschool. They do not necessarily object to the orientation of existing schools, but have children who are struggling to adapt to the school system. There was an article about this case in the local newspaper, but our group have yet to discover who this family is.
However, we are thankful for the progress we have made—and for the help of Home School Legal Defense Association. We are grateful as well for the prayers and support of other homeschool families around the world—this truly is a team effort!