Is Kenya Set to Outlaw Homeschooling?

Will Barack Obama support parental rights in nation of his heritage where he spent $23 million in taxpayer funds to abortion law?

Kenyan parents' days of being able to educate their own children as they see fit may be coming to a close. In a last-minute desperation call, homeschool parents contacted the Virginia-based Home School Legal Defense Association for help to protect their age-old right.

And why could homeschooling soon be a thing of the past in the East African nation? The parliament in Kenya now contends that home instruction could be used by parents to hide abusive and negligent treatment of children from authorities.

Even though homeschooling is still in its early stages in Kenya with relatively small numbers, it has the backing of leaders from one of just a handful of coordinated home education groups on the continent of Africa ─ the East Africa Community of Homeschoolers (EACH). EACH serves some 200 homeschooling families around the Horn of Africa and believes that educating lawmakers about this fundamental right can make headway.

"There are so few of us that it is easy for the parliament to ignore us," says Thomas Mundia, who serves as a member of the East African board of homeschoolers. "There are some in parliament who are open to our ideas, but most are unfamiliar with the concept of home education."

Mundia asserts that if Kenyan lawmakers move forward and push legislation through with the guise of protecting children, parents could end up in jail.

"Kenya is drafting a new law after adopting a new constitution, and this law does not make a provision for home education," Mundia adds. "This puts Kenyan homeschoolers at risk of criminal prosecution."

And like an amendment that Irish voters just approved into their constitution this month that took away parental rights and gave them to their children and the government in the name of protecting children, the Kenyan government is looking to diminish parents' role in raising their children. Pro-family advocates are petitioning for help from abroad to maintain their authority over their homes.

HSLDA, which fights for parents' rights to instruct their children without government interference, was the first choice that Kenyans turned to when battling the government for control of their children. Mundia believes that the organization's legal expertise in parental rights can stem the tide of governmental interference, adding: "I hope that intervention from our international homeschooling friends could help."

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Michael F. Haverluck
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