Home Schooling in India

Written By: / Career Guidance and Education / Sunday, 08 May 2022 16:57

Home Schooling in India is a form of alternative education in which education is provided to children at home by parents or by tutors rather than in public or private schools. This conforms to the prevalence of similar homeschooling option for parents in many countries. But it does not conform to the same approaches, attitude, practices, and trends found elsewhere in the world. The highlight of this article is as such directed towards home education or home-based learning in India. Home education in India is offered by various agencies enabling an increase in the resources for imparting and promoting education. Some of these are in the form of associations, education providers, support groups forums etc. Most of these are active on the internet and that is why they remain largely unknown to the common people. Moreover, homeschooling is more prominent in major urban Indian cities, like Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi and Pune. In other parts of India, homeschooling has only a minimal presence. The estimated number of homeschoolers has been put to 500-1000 children as per the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), a non-profit advocacy organization working for the education of children.
To begin, homeschooling is initiated when a family decides to teach their child at home and a parent assumes responsibility for the formal instruction of his or her child. Whether they resort to private tutors, later on, is a different matter. Next step is securing funds, choosing curriculum content, and determining the gradation and progress of the child. This practice makes this type of schooling associated with the term ‘privatization of education’ as parents or guardians provide their children with a learning environment as an alternative to public or private schools outside the home. Before the introduction of compulsory school attendance laws, most childhood education occurred within the family or community. Homeschooling isn’t a recent or a sudden development in India. Indian History itself reveals various such examples wherein Shishyas (students) were taught by Gurus (teachers) conforming to the tradition of Guru-Shishya. Shishyas were taught a wide range of subjects like administration, combat, politics, sports etc. While some of this education was provided by experts, some were also provided by Sages within the premises of the house. Homeschooling in India, in the modern sense, is different.
Home School Education in India: How it works?
There are fixed rules for home education in India if a candidate appears for examinations. Parents use a curriculum prescribed by NIOS or IGCSE and then appear for the examinations. Children can even take examinations as private candidates at a regular school.
Second way follows a liberal approach; parents may design their own curriculum by referring to syllabi of different boards. It is up to the parents or their children to decide whether they want to register with a board and appear for examinations.
Main Bodies that are involved in the Academic Study of Homeschoolers in India
National Institute of Open Schooling is a board of an open school in India. It provides relevant continuing education at school stage, up to pre-degree level through open learning system. Homeschoolers can directly use NIOS to take the exams for class X and XII. They are only required to register with the body a year before they want to take the exam. Certificates issued by NIOS carry the same recognition as other Boards and are valid for taking competitive exams.
IGCSE: International General Certificate of Secondary Education is an internationally recognized qualification for school students, typically in the 15-16 age group.
The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is a globally recognized qualification, conducted at the Class 10 level, similar to the Class 10 examinations of the CBSE and ICSE.
IGCSE Courses
Cambridge Primary (CIPP): 5 – 11 years
Cambridge Secondary 1 (Lower Secondary/Checkpoint): 11- 14 years
Cambridge Secondary 2 (IGCSE/O level): 14 – 16 years
Cambridge Advanced (AS/A level): 16 – 19 years
A candidate can appear for the IGCSE exams as a private candidate. IGCSE is conducted by two boards:
Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) and Edexcel. 
For appearing in the examinations, one has to register his kid as a private candidate in an IGCSE school. One can also take the examinations at the specified CIE exam centre, which could be British Council in Kolkata as it is the only CIE exam centre. For more information visit - http://www.cie.org.uk/countries/india/
Homes Schooling in India: Methods
Homeschooling system in India uses a variety of methods and materials which may follow the prescribed regulations or a mixture of any as per the intelligence and preference of children and/or parents. Most of the common methods used in India are the Montessori Method, Un-schooling, Radical Un-schooling, Waldorf education and School.
Apart from the Major Methods, Parents/Children use some Techniques Mentioned below:
Self Study: If a student is intelligent and independent self-study is encouraged. Children are encouraged to figure out things by themselves and find pleasure in learning new things.
Practical Study: Parents/tutors use a practical approach or use routine based activities to educate the child. Morals, manners, speaking, reading etc. are taught with practical examples.
Personalised Study: Parents/teachers opt for not following a structured timetable or a prescribed course. Textbooks maybe partially followed or rejected altogether. Some parents will allow more attention to those subjects which are favourites or which are easy based on their kids choice. The tough ones and boring ones are given less attention to allow specialisation.
Various types of course material and educational tools are used towards this effect. Some of these are Educational CDs, Games, Magazines, Television Programmes, Websites or any other preferred or suitable material.
Home Schooling Education in India: International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), Pune Homeschoolers Group.
These resources work in favour of homeschooling education in India in any possible and legal manner which includes communicating, consultations, holding events and other beneficial and supportive activities.
Legality of Home schooling in India
Education comes under the Right to Education (RTE) Act which came into effect on April 1, 2010. The act makes it mandatory for every child, from 6 to 14 years, to be enrolled in a formal school. However, there is controversy regarding the legal status of homeschooling in India. This controversy started when Shreya Sahai, a 14-year-old girl filed a petition in 2011 through her mother, contending that - ‘Section 18 of RTE Act does not recognise any other mode of imparting education except the one through formal schooling’. The petition further sought a direction to include home-schooling and alternative education schools under the ‘specified category’ under Section 2(P) of the RTE Act.
In response, the Centre filed an affidavit in the Delhi high court in July 2012. As per the affidavit “Parents who voluntarily opt for systems of home-schooling and such alternative forms of schooling may continue to do so. The RTE Act does not come in the way of such schooling methodologies or declare such form of education illegal.” The affidavit, also said, “National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) for children in the age group of 6-14 years will only be allowed to run up to 2015”.
But in October 2012, the Union government stated before a division bench of the Delhi High Court, that “Its earlier stand towards home education was incorrect and contrary to Section 10 of the Act”. The court has given time to the Centre to file a new affidavit towards this statement. Technically speaking, until a final decision is made towards this issue, “Homeschooling in India is not allowed as per the RTE Act as of December 2012. But taking a close look at the RTE Act reveals another facet. RTE document does not refer to homeschooling or neither does it make clear on it being illegal. The act is more focused on the duty of the state in regulating education. With reference to a Homeschooling website - http://homeschoolers.in/is-homeschooling-illegal/, the assumption of the illegality of homeschooling is quite in contradiction with Article 26 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights which clearly states that – “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.” So how can homeschooling be illegal?
Home Schooling in India: Promoting Factors
Different parents and/or children have different reasons for choosing to homeschool as an option for educating their siblings. These reasons are also the contributing factors towards this type of education.
Dissatisfaction with Conventional System of Education: The conventional system of Indian Education is flawed in a major way as opined by the majority of citizens. The Indian Education system prepares students for appearing in examinations rather than preparing them for the real world. Parents are not happy with the education they themselves have got from the education system. They have lost faith in the education system and feel that they can provide a better education at home.
Flexibility: Flexibility is another major promoting factor for homeschooling. Parents or kids can decide what they want to study and when they want to study. Flexible schedule of the study also allows more socialisation within or outside the house. One can decide independently how much study is enough or deficient. This way the child learns at his own pace and can avoid stress related to the pace of covering syllabus.   
Disabilities: For children with learning disorders homeschooling is a better option. Such kids will not face any sort of discriminatory or derogatory act. Parents have a better knowledge of their own as compared to teachers who could be partially or totally unaware of what matters the most. Certain mental or physical disabilities also encourage homeschooling.
Less Stress: The prevalent education system in India puts a lot of performance pressure on kids. Those who do not perform well are condemned and those who are naughty are punished. Various competitive examinations in India and their accompanying pre and pro processes have an overbearing effect on those involved. Stress, aggression, abuse, violence and other negative behaviour is the outcome of the race to excel.  
Mindset: Some kids do not like to attend school due to various reasons or simply a preference. Some parents also do not prefer that their kids should go to any school. Some kids are able to do well while studying in the home as compared to going to school. They are better at studying at home than going regularly to school. Some parents especially those living in rural areas feel that conventional education is biased against their moral values and social requirements.
Teacher-Student Ratio: The major factor affecting the Indian Education System has been the skewed ratio of student-teacher in a school or college environment. 1 Teacher teaching 30 or so students cannot give the quality of education to each individual, nor is it possible for the teachers to provide undivided attention.  
Online Forums: Online forums address various issues related to homeschooling. Parents can interact with each other and get solutions for their problems. Parents, tutors and students feel a sense of belongingness towards a common objective.  
Better Attention to Specialisation: In a conventional school environment a child’s specialisation may go unnoticed or unappreciated. Interests like music, dance or any non-academic skill are generally not given much support. This attitude does not do justice to the talent of the individual. Homeschooling offers the facility to go for what one is perfect in. Musician, sportsperson etc. require more training in their chosen field instead of just pure academics.
Enjoyment in Education: It is not a hidden fact that nobody has got enjoyment from education at school, of course, exceptions are always there, but very few. At home, education can be delivered in more ways than possible in a school environment. Kids or parents can mould education with props like CD’s, puppets or activities like a visit to a zoo, cooking, artistry etc. Such form of education brings variety in education as compared to the repetitive routine of schooling.  
Safety: Safety here means both physically and mentally. Children can be spared from bullying, adultery, addictions or any other negative influence which children face while studying in a school.

About the Author

Vijay Garg

Vijay Garg

Vijay Garg is a regular contributor of Imphal Times, mostly related with Education. Vijay is a resident of Street Kour Chand MHR Malout-152107 Distt Sri Muktsar sahib Punjab. Vijay Garg, Ex.PES-1 is a retired Principal from Government Girls Sen Sec school Mandi Harji Ram Malout -152106 Punjab. He is also the author of Quantitative Aptitude, NTSE , NMMS, Mathematics of XII, ICSE numerical physics and chemistry many more books.

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