Homeschooling in India – A Growing Movement
Homeschooling is still a relatively alien concept to most people in India who feel that a child can only be educated within the four walls of a classroom by a so-called ‘trained’ teacher. The majority have no idea what homeschooling is all about and feel that a child who is being educated at home will be at a grave disadvantage as they will be sorely lacking in social skills.
Added to this, the new Right to Education law passed by the government in 2009, has made prospective homeschoolers even more wary of taking this radical step as the legality of homeschooling in India has still not been clearly defined.
However, a small revolutionary movement is slowly gaining momentum with more and more people daring to opt out of the system despite knowing that the odds are stacked against them. More parents are warming to the idea of being able to space out and direct their children’s learning rather than subjecting them to the factory style ofschooling, where one-size-fits-all.
A few years ago, the number of homeschooling families in India could just about be counted on both hands, but today that number has crossed the three-figure mark! A tiny speck no doubt amidst such a vast population, but it is one that is constantly growing.
In the year 2012, a group of like-minded individuals came together to form the first national body of Indian homeschoolers – Swashikshan. With the ever-increasing numbers of people opting to homeschool in India, it was felt that a support group was the need of the hour. There is no hierarchy in the organization and individuals reach out to fellow homeschoolers through this body to support and encourage each other on this rather off beaten track.
Swashikshan also organizes an annual homeschooling meet at various locations in India where homeschoolersfrom all over the country meet to share stories and insights that they have gained.
The Exam Option
Homeschooling in India is very different from other countries like the US, where it is a recognized choice. Since there is no government regulatory body for homeschoolers, parents opt for their own methods of homeschooling their children. Some choose to un-school
On the other hand, a larger number opt for a more structured pattern wherein children balance regular academics with other interests like sport, music, dance or painting. Parents who opt for this pattern, guide their children towards the ultimate goal of sitting for the mandatory tenth-grade examination. Children either take the Cambridge IGCSE (O Levels) or the examinations conducted by the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), as the only eligibility criteria for taking these exams is that a child should be 14 years old.
The growing number of success stories of homeschoolers in India that is constantly showcased by the media has created an awareness among the general public of this option. The swelling numbers of new homeschoolers is an indication that the Indian homeschooling movement is here to stay.
You can contact us to find out more information about homeschooling in India as we have successfully homeschooled our three children.