Home Schooling

More and more children are educated at home

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VaudHomeschooling is on the rise, but the rules are getting tougher

As elsewhere in Switzerland, the number of home-schooled students is growing in the canton of Vaud. It should more easily lead to a tightening of the policy.

Soon it won’t be so easy to teach your child at home.

Tamedia

This phenomenon is the same in most cantons that allow parents to teach their children at home: the number of home schoolers is increasing, and rapidly. In the canton of Vaud, there were 759 in 2021, compared to 220 in 2013. The canton records “an annual increase of around 20% since 2013”. The start of the 2022 school year is not known, mainly because the Vaud regime is very flexible, for example compared to the Geneva regime (see box).

In German-speaking Switzerland, the phenomenon is the same. Several media have published the most up-to-date figures. In Zurich, where the system is quite similar to Vaudois, there are already 789 students registered for home education at the start of the 2022 school year, compared to just 248 three years ago. In Geneva, the number is also increasing but remains very low, around sixty this autumn, as conditions are more severe. Friborg and Valais also require that the person sending the child to school has a recognized teaching qualification.

Taking a child out of school only requires notification, and parents sometimes do so only after the beginning of the school year. But things should change. The draft law, which was submitted for consultation under the leadership of former state councilor Ceslo Amarelle, aimed to move from a system of “declarations” to a system of “authorization”. Parents will need to demonstrate during the process that they have a “sufficient level of education” as defined by a Secondary II or equivalent degree.

Possible in a foreign language

It is, among other things, “the protection of childhood and youth from religious or sectarian influences that threaten the chances of social integration, the right to sexual freedom and the free choice of a life partner,” County wrote. Please note that teaching may take place in a language other than French, but the program must then include the teaching of French as a second language.

The consultation has ended and negative opinions have appeared (read below). The bill can still be amended, especially with the arrival of the new Councilor of State Frédéric Borloz, and the parliament could catch it by early next year.

Opposition to the reform

The association IEL – Instruire en liberté announced its disagreement with the change in regulations. “The entitlement system is too damaging to the freedom of families to choose the teaching method that best suits their children’s needs, guaranteed by the Vaud constitution,” she said. However, if the reform were to be successful, she would like to see the possibility of taking a child out of school at any time, and not only at the beginning of each semester, as the project envisages. He also wants the authorization to be renewed automatically and not repeated every year, as the canton would like.

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