'Education at home' boy to be sent back to school
A case possibly involving Beijing's first dispute over fostering rights based on an argument over home schooling for a child or public education came to a conclusion yesterday with the court's verdict against the mother.
The Shijingshan District People's Court ruled against the divorced woman who wanted to win back the right to bring up her son. She had claimed her ex-husband was depriving the boy of a school education but the court found no evidence for that.
However, it did say the father must now send the 7-year-old boy to school because that would be better for the youngster's overall development.
Even though the father retained custody and an evaluation showed that homeschooling was working well for the boy, the boy will still be forced to go to school.
A test conducted by the Galaxy Primary School in Shijingshan District this month showed the child, who should be in the second grade, had already reached the level required for grade four students. The boy said in court that he enjoyed his home education.
In spite of China's new compulsory education law, homeschooling is gaining in popularity.
Do these criticisms against homeschooling sound familiar?
Some parents are still abandoning public schooling for various reasons such as a belief schools focus on high scores, assign too much homework and neglect those lagging behind, said Xu Xin, a professor with the Southwest University of Political Science and Law.
Xu said home schooling may also lead to defects in a child's personality, as he/she lacks chances to be involved in group activities.
It will be interesting to see how homeschooling grows in China.
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