An officially proposed law, set to be voted on next year, would outlaw most home-schooling in Sweden. Government officials in the alleged Scandinavian utopia explain that “there is no need for the law to offer the possibility of homeschooling because of religious or philosophical reasons in the family.”
Yet increasing numbers of Swedes feel otherwise. The Swedish Association for Home Education, called ROHUS, has appealed to the international community for help in what its members regard as a concerted attack on human rights. The proposed law, according to the group, shows off the country’s “worst totalitarian socialist roots.”
I don’t know much about Sweden’s government-run schools. My wife and I home-school our kids here in Virginia. We do this mainly for reasons of security and quality control.
But this is, nevertheless, a philosophic issue.
Surely parents have the right to resist governments’ efforts to control every aspect of their lives, especially the micromanaging of their kids’ education.
Government schools tend to perform poorly. In America, we have witnessed a degradation in standards. Sweden, apparently, isn’t immune to such trends. One English woman married to a Swede fears that the country’s “’no-one should aspire to be better’ mentality” pervades the schools; she insists the “no-grade” system degrades competitive standards.
A reason to home-school, yes. And a reason to defend a philosophic case for the home-school option: That option is a human right.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.