Ms Nonkululeko Dlamini – who graduated with a Master’s degree in Population Studies – examined the history of home-schooling in South Africa, its advantages and disadvantages, the reasons why parents choose to home-school their children, the impact of home-schooling as well as curriculum options. 

Her dissertation also discussed the regulation of home-schooling and the home-schooling population’s response to such regulation. 

‘Although, home-schooling has received significant coverage in South African media, there is relatively little academic research on this subject,’ said Dlamini. This motivated her to investigate how this form of education could contribute to fulfilling the country’s needs. 

The study found that home-schooling is a life changing decision which requires discipline and commitment from parents, educators and their children. ‘There are various benefits associated with home-schooling, but the most common advantage is that it presents families with the opportunity to grow and develop together, creating a rare bond,’ she said.

According to Dlamini, parents seek a holistic approach to education that is of high quality and believe that they are best placed to provide such, as they know their children best. ‘Parents believe that home-schooling provides the opportunity to customise education to suit the needs and interests of each child. Each child can progress at his or her own pace according to their strengths and weaknesses,’ she added. 

The study adds to the body of knowledge on home-schooling in South Africa and highlights parents’ good and bad experiences as home educators. 

Dlamini thanked her family, friends and supervisor, Professor Pranitha Maharaj, for their support. She plans to continue her postgraduate studies, gain work experience and one day travel the world as a Population Scientist. 

Words: Melissa Mungroo 

Photograph: Rajesh Jantilal