BVI News

Last-minute decision to homeschool children not an option, parents told

Parents considering to pull their children out of the territory’s school system to provide homeschooling for this academic school year will not be allowed to do so.

This is according to Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley who told parents it is not legally possible at this time since the deadline to request permission to homeschool their children has passed.

Dr Wheatley defined homeschooling as the act whereby parents deviate from traditional education and, instead, school their children either themselves or with a tutor.

He said there are clear procedures that are outlined for homeschooling in Section 89 of the Education Act of 2004, and noted that these procedures must be followed to ensure no laws are broken during the process.

“Prior to the commencement of a home education programme, it has to be registered with the ministry. The process includes providing an educational plan for each student who’s receiving home education to the Chief Education Officer three months prior to the home education programme,” Dr Wheatley explained.

“Therefore, for those parents who might be considering homeschooling as an option, please note that this is not an option that can be pursued at this time. You must satisfy the requirements of the Education Act, if you are considering pursuing this option,” he added.

The minister said active discussions on the subject of homeschooling begun popping up in various local circles and on social media following recent his announcement that online learning was going to take place for the rest of 2020.

The 2020/2021 academic year has officially commenced from this week for some private schools while all public schools will begin their school year on September 21.

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37 Comments

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  1. Upset says:

    I am sorry but Hon. Wheatley as a parent I am not pleased with your leadership on education. There has to be way that we could open school even on a shift basis to help our children. Why soo many countries could open school and we are here stuck? St. Kitts, Dominica, Antigua, Barbados, Trinidad, st. Vincent have schools opened and ours a beamed shut because of poor planning and the inability to manage the situation. Do you know how many children will fall through the cracks after this is all over?

    Like 39
    Dislike 7
    • Hmmmmmm says:

      This minister is only 1 out of 5. He needs the support of the others. He needs finance and health to approve opening up physically the schools.

      For those that want home schooling, simply complement the current system seeing that you have time on your hands for full homeschooling. I would believe that the ministry is trying to accommodate everyone with the resources at its disposal.

      Sometimes we complain too much. We should be thankful. Others have it worse than us.

      Like 11
      Dislike 12
    • BVI Schools says:

      The BVI is creating a whole generation of uneducated illiterate people. It is a known fact that the black man cannot learn independently through a computer. He must attend a classroom to obtain the little education he does receive. These are the same people that you are going to depend on to run the Territory and businesses. There is a very dark time coming to the Territory and blacks as a whole.

      Like 13
      Dislike 19
    • To Upset says:

      Dear upset it is clear that you are.

      However, get your facts straight. All those island that you mention only about two have their schools open.

      As a matter of fact, I found out that in Trinidad the primary school students have written their primary 5 about 2 weeks ago.

      ” On Thursday August 20th 2020, nineteen thousand three hundred and forty-four (19,344) students across Trinidad and Tobago will write the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA). Cabinet decided that in the best interest of all, the examinations will be held on the proposed August date. …”

      So please get your facts straight.

      Be grateful that our stunts got to graduate and move on ahead.

      I however dont like this online thing because the internet keep dropping

      Like 6
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  2. Smh says:

    Not a clue what he is doing.

    Like 24
    Dislike 5
    • Hmmmmmm says:

      You take up the post then. Or, offer suggestions.

      Like 4
      Dislike 5
      • Suggestions offered says:

        Several suggestions and plans offered to that ministry but they are still lagging . Also pooling public and private institutions is ridiculous. Let the schools that have developed plans open, let parents have options.

        Like 17
        Dislike 2
  3. Annoyed says:

    Do we know how many children will fall through the cracks because of poor planning and leadership. Why can’t we develop a plan to open up the schools safely? St. Kitts open school. St. Vincent open school. Trinidad open school. Antigua open school. Barbados open school and we here talking about fully online which we all know will put these kids at a serious disadvantage. When parents go back to work what will become of these children? Do we expect them to stay online until 3pm? You all serious?

    Like 29
    Dislike 6
    • Agreed says:

      Agreed with upset, it have the younger children that need help. If parents have to go work, these children would fail. Some work places don’t care and are not being lenient on the parents.

      Like 10
      Dislike 1
      • Agreed says:

        Not just younger children but also children with learning challenges too.

        Like 9
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      • Agreed says:

        Not just younger children but also children with learning challenges . They’ve had so much time to come up with real options for students and this is all they come with ? Advisory boards with old school educators…what a joke !

        Like 7
        Dislike 1
    • Dear faddah says:

      What tell untruths to make a point , some school around the region not open.

      You want him to open school and when things happen then you going blame him.

      What are you suggestions ?

      Like 7
      Dislike 1
  4. Dear Parents says:

    Homeschooling is a process that takes time to set up, I would have loved to home school my child and I would admit, we waited to late to decide we wanted to home school. I will say as a parent, if we had come together and made this request two months ago, it would have work. Big lesson, don’t sit back and wait until the last moment to do or request anything.

    Like 8
    Dislike 2
  5. USA says:

    I live in the USA and my children is home schooled, you have to register with the Education Department, submit documents to the State, set up a classroom setting in your home, receive a home visit by the Board of Education to make sure everything is in order before you get approved. Don’t get mad with your Education Minister, it is a process that takes time.

    Like 15
    • USA says:

      Who will come check all the homes? I’m sure they would be appalled to see the conditions some students are having to homeschool in.
      They ain’t ready for this!

    • Hmmmmmmm says:

      “My children is …”

      Should it not be: my children are …?

      A good reason there is no home schooling in the BVI. The appropriate structure needs to be in place!

  6. Realistic... says:

    Honorable Wheatley you must be realistic. Because of the decisions made by the BVI Cabinet some parents have no other choice.

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
  7. Hon says:

    This is where the Hon.Myron outshined them all. If it’s one thing, our Education system was a bit more in order under him. That I will give him.

    Like 23
    Dislike 9
  8. Dictatorship says:

    This is crazy! Surely there needs to be exceptions made during these hard times. There are plenty of good platforms that parents have the right to choose from. Parents have the right to give their children a good education that might better suit their personal situations. This is a mistake. Hoping it is reconsidered.

    Like 8
    Dislike 2
  9. moo moo says:

    If this guy didnt get into office nobody would have perceived how d***e he actually is. The only thing left for this government to do is to say we can’t use toilet paper no more, use brown paper.

    Fools really die for lack of wisdom

    Like 10
    Dislike 3
  10. Whatever says:

    Students Homeschooling here from other countries this entire year up to now! Illegal schools and groups set up all over the Territory in homes and even businesses, all the teachers doing private tutoring at home. They have no clue the mess they’ve caused!

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
    • 2 Cents says:

      People need to eat bread. These people found a way to earn a living after your government killed the economy!

      Maybe, this can be a way the Government generate some revenues to ‘waste’ on projects and the paying of some civil servants who do not work!

      Like 1
      Dislike 2
  11. Wite out says:

    M** *** minister!

  12. concerned educator says:

    I am not a blogger and I am not a political or partisan individual either. I am some one who just want the best for my country and I call things as I see it.
    I had the opportunity to work with Minister Wheatley and Minister Walwyn and I honestly wished that Minister Walwyn was the minister for education at this time. I know without a shadow of a doubt that a plan for education would have been developed months ago for children to return to school safely. Minister Wheatley is a pleasant man but he is not a leader or at least not the leader we need right now.

    Like 14
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  13. Home school says:

    Who will home school them or assist rhem when some of them parents are locked out.

    Like 1
    Dislike 3
  14. Stop the politics says:

    The problem with the BVI is that it is too political. Myron made some excellent suggestions that could work. I heard them on the news. Regardless of who suggest things, if it’s good it’s good. Take up the suggestions and let us get better for our children. The online thing is a disaster.

    Like 10
    Dislike 4
  15. @concerned educator says:

    Noone knows everything. But what most know and believe is that, one can serve one master at a time.

  16. Research says:

    To all those who seeks to complain about everything under the sun. If you should do some research, you would know that over 1.2 billion children globally in 186 countries are out of the classroom.
    Even before COVID-19, there was already a high growth and adoption in education, whether it was language app, virtual tutoring or otherwise.
    Yes, there will be challenges as e-learning requires 40-60% less time to learn than in the classroom, where students can learn at their own pace. To get the full benefit of online learning, there needs to be a concerted effort that goes beyond replicating a physical class, instead using a range of collaboration tools and engagement methods that will promote inclusion, personalization and brainpower.
    The comparison between the two Education Ministers do not change the fact of the reality we are facing today, neither will it get you your selfish heart desires, instead, find a way to work with what you have and getting best results out of it.

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  17. @ research says:

    Do your research – millions of children have returned back to school because all reports are showing the importance for mental well-being and educational needs children need to be back in school. Parents are also returning to work and need safe learning environments for their kids . Dropping your kids off all over the place is not a safe solution for their education or health and overall safety.

    now that we’re all out to work being exposed and coming home to our kids is keeping them in a home bubble really going to work ??

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  18. We in trouble in this place says:

    This is weak leadershop, very weak. This is an issue where common sense should prevail but spite and animosity of evil hearts in power won…I am a big fan of Sowande, im disappointed…U actually having an adult, a responsible professional in the room..Wow. Lord,,. We in trouble

  19. man or man says:

    You are the biggest disappointment. How dear you tell parents what to do with their children. If I choose to home school my children you have no right to tell me what to do.

  20. My lil 2 cents says:

    Now I know we all need money to survive so since MONEY is CLEARLY more important than the health of our Territory’s children and all other citizens/residents I say open schools, daycares, churches, bars, nightclubs and all other businesses and borders. Ram all of them full to capacity because everybody want to live like the current pandemic doesn’t exist and NEED to make MONEY at all cost. Who catch COVID-19 catch it and who dead, dead.

    I say Government give the people exactly what they want because no matter what you do to try to keep people here safe and alive they clearly don’t want it.

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