According to the National Home Education Research Institute, the number of homeschooling adepts in the United States, has already reached more than 3 million school-age students. In Canada, with a yearly average growth rate of more than 6 %, homeschooling is on the rise. Canadian Journal of Education mentioned that the main reason for a parent to choose homeschooling, both in the US and Canada is the intention to assert their right and responsibility for their children’s education. Such homeschooling parents advocate that they know their children very well and can educate them by taking direct participation in their children’s education. This similar mindset has been growing among the choice seeking people of Brazil.
The Brazilian Federal Constitution insists that education is primarily the State’s responsibility and also the family’s. It further states that education is compulsory from 4 to 18 years of age. As a consequence, several families in Brazil have been homeschooling in a hidden and illegal way. According to the Law of Directives and Bases of Education (LDB 9496/1996) and the Statute of Children and Adolescents (Law 8069/1990), parents must register their children at a school, during their schooling years. As an opposition to this rigid law, a movement has been arising in favor of homeschooling in Brazil. A recent Fraser Institute study shows that, from 2006 to 2012, homeschooling increased by 29 % while government school enrolment reduced by 2.5 %.
Many families and activists in Brazil have been/are attempting to make homeschooling legal. In 2001, a family from central Brazil filed a complaint to acquire the right to educate their daughters at home, but lost cases in the Supreme Court and were forced to register their daughters in a regular school. In this case, Supreme Court’s argument was, that school attendance is mandatory to the Brazilian Federal Constitution. Since 1994, seven attempts have been made to pass a bill against this law and finally one Constitutional Amendment Proposal has been submitted to the Chamber of Deputies, requesting legislation on homeschooling matters. This proposition includes proposals for insertion, authorization and allowance of homeschooling in the Brazilian Federal Constitution.
With the intention to protect Human Rights and increase the level of education among girls, the Supreme Court of Brazil has now declared that the parents have full right to choose the kind of education they want for their children. Although the growth of homeschooling has been usually associated with educational reforms influenced by market arrangements, but in Brazil, homeschooling is also arising in a context connected to “concerted development”, where middle-class-families wish to enhance the technique of learning among their children.
Davies S. and Aurini J., famous Canadian educational politicians, have predicted that the growth of homeschooling sector is widely connected with growth and development of Brazil and termed it as the “third sector growth”. Homeschooling parents of Brazil have successfully used their rights and advocated homeschooling as part of an individual’s freedom of conscience and the right to life, liberty and attain education.
Demographic studies reflect that there is a big scope of an alternative education system in Brazil, which can be lead by homeschooling, supported by online schools. The worth of this method of education cannot be proved unless the Brazilian government is ready to make moral, intellectual and constitutional changes to incorporate homeschooling in their country.