360x240-columbia-flagCompulsory Education Age

5-15 years old

Legal Status

The issue of home schooling in Colombia is far from being a mainstream topic of interest for educational authorities. The Ministry of Education has begun watching the movement closely; researching and looking for experts, actors people involved in the homeschooling and alternative education subject, talking to them and gathering information – the ministry plans to have a guidance and policies writen by 2022. Homeschooling is not a legally recognized issue in Colombian legislation; as such it is nor forbidden nor encouraged; there is no mention about homeschooling in any law, but some laws speak about mandatory education, even speaking about ages and grades. This can be confusing for the state officers, because they understand education is only schooling. Very few have heard about homeschooling and not all of them believe it's legal. it is just ignored. If parents decide to take the option of home schooling, they are not required to inform authorities, nor do their activities receive any kind of supervision. A joint research group of the main Colombian Public University, National University of Colombia and Oviedo University in Spain have been conducting an investigation about “Education without schools” in Colombia, for which they are asking families to complete a 100-question survey. The number of families involved is uncertain.

Home-schooled children can remain completely outside schooling, even if they decide to enter the higher education system. In order to do that, pupils must take a nation-wide state scholastic test (Saber 11) which is a prerequisite for entering higher education, as it grants the title of Bachiller (“Bachellor”). There is a limitation for this test, because only can be taken if the person is 18 or older. This is regulated by the National Decree 299 (2009). This test is administered by a national government agency. In order to register for the test, pupils are not required to be enrolled in any educational institution. If their result matches the admission requirements of the higher education institution of their choice, they could be admitted and hence have skipped formal schooling in its entirety.

Pupils of any age or grade level can level-up with formal schooling if they have been out of the system for any reason. This is done via a special process called validación (“validation”), which would allow them to skip any given grade level provided that they pass a special government examination test. Then they would be able to enter the next corresponding grade level. Public and private institutions offer validation programs that also allow pupils to take two or more grade levels in a given school year. Validation is recognized by the law as a special variety of formal schooling. Although designed to be an entrance mechanism to formal education for children left out of the school system for reasons as varied as forced displacement due to armed conflict, extreme rural isolation, the repeated failure of a grade level in the private school system, or any other exceptional circumstance, validation is an entry mechanism that could also be used by home-schooled children. National Decree 2832 (2005) establishes regulations for this process.

Contact Information

Ana Paulina Maya
Email: apmaya@gmail.com
Website: www.anapaulinamaya.com
Homeschooling In Colombia - Legal Analysis 

Red EnFamilia
Website: www.enfamilia.co
Email: nosotros@enfamilia.co
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/enfamilia.red
Phone:  +57 311 810 3720

Enfamilia Caribe
POC: Ana Gonzalez Forero
Email:  anagonzalezforero@gmail.com
Facebook group

Comunidad de Familias Cristianas Educadoras en el Hogar
Calle 165 #54-90 Bogotá
POC(S): Alvaro Giraldo andMelissa Uribe
Phone(s): +573202322953 and +573102426353
Skype: meliur.20
Email:  homejesuschool@gmail.com
Facebook page