How to Start Homeschooling In India

A lot of parents are eager to educate their children at home. There is often confusion about the process involved in getting started with homeschooling in India.

Indian preschoolers

Is Homeschooling Legal In India?

The legality of homeschooling in India  has been debated by educators, lawmakers and parents. As well as a plethora of Alternative Education schools spread over different states of India. More so since the passing of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE). The act makes formal education a fundamental right of every child between the ages of 6 to 14. It also specifies minimum norms for schools.

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The most common question parents ask is about the legalities of homeschooling in India. The legality of homeschooling in India still remains a grey area. However, there have been petitions by parents and alternate schools in the past for granting relief. 

The simple answer to that question is that presently, there is no formal body that promotes or governs homeschooling in India. However, parents who want to homeschool their children can do so. As per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which India is a signatory, quote: “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.”

Indian Homeschool

Mr Kapil Sibal, the minister of Human Resource Development, gave this assurance in 2010. An article in Times of India, Pune dated 8th September 2010, published a report by Neha Madaan about Kapil Sibal’s views on homeschooling with regard to the RTE Act titled “RTE: Homeschooling too is fine, says Sibal”. Here’s what the article said.

“The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act,2009 wants every child to be in school, but if somebody decides not to send his/her children to school, we are not going to interfere. The compulsion is on the state, not on the parents. Parents are free not to send their children to school, but teach them at home. We cannot be micromanaging.” Sibal told TOI on Tuesday. The Act stipulates eight years of formal education for all children between 6 and 14 years of age. Homeschooling parents believe in individual skills and want to nurture them in their children at home rather than in schools.”

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There has been a lot of new developments in homeschooling in India. The most recent one by Maharashtra government being the announcement of ‘Open Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Board.’ An initiative that encourages students to pursue schooling from home.

To know more about the legal side of homeschooling in India, I suggest that you visit www.homeschoolers.in. ‘Swashikshan – Indian Association of Homeschoolers’ is an informal organization that will guide you on legal questions and share the latest developments.

Home education

Do Homeschoolers in India take exams?

Yes, homeschoolers in India take exams in class X and class XII.

How they take the exams depends on what homeschool curriculum the family choses to follow.

Family funIf the child is fully homeschooled, the family has to chose the Board of examination suitable for them in 10th or 12th grade. Get that board’s exam curriculum and start preparing their student for the exam. Once the student is ready they will register with the board of choice for their 10th or 12th grade exams.

Alternately, some schools allow parents to enroll their children as a private student. In this approach, parents can choose to teach their children at home but have to follow the curriculum and examination process of the school.

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In this approach, Parents will have to personally approach the schools, that have affiliation with the Board of their choice. Either IB, SSC, IGCSE, NIOS etc. But you will have to follow the standards, curriculum and method of teaching adopted by that school.

Parents who homeschool fully have to find ways to enroll their child to the desired Board when he/she is ready.

Does the Central Board for Secondary Education India (CBSE) allow homeschooling? 

Teacher mom

CBSE (Central Board for Secondary Education)

  • This board was formed keeping in mind the need of parents with transferable jobs
  • The exams are conducted in both English and Hindi
  • Schools following this curriculum have exams at the end of Class X and XII
  • Candidates have to appear for two regional language papers (but they must have cleared Hindi, English and one other language by the time they reach Class 8), and six other subjects.
  • It is recognised by all Indian Colleges and Universities
  • More information on CBSE at http://www.cbse.nic.in

Options for Homeschoolers: As of now, homeschoolers are not eligible to take the CBSE exams.

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I don’t want to go to school in 12th standard CBSE, can I give my 12th standard board privately?

Yes there are other boards you can look into that will accept homeschoolers and private students.

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