Home-schooling or home education, involves a child being tutored in the home by either of the parents or a tutor engaged for such purpose. It is a system in which a child would not study within the four walls of a classroom or mix with other children.
The concept is relatively new in Nigeria as only few people are giving it a trial in some cities, especially Ibadan, Lagos, Abuja, and Port-Hacourt, where parents have little time for their children and wards.
Some parents, especially in crime prone areas, have taken their children out of public schools for fear of the unknown. Another reason is the anxiety of being kidnapped, raped, maimed or killed by cultists and other unscrupulous elements, hence some parents find alternative in home school system. However, lack of proper awareness among Nigerian families is a big obstacle to home schooling.
Besides, the practice could be expensive to bear. Another hindrance is the fact that no man lives in isolation. When a child is alone in the house, there are certain things he would miss by not going to conventional schools.
These are things that are learned naturally in the school environment in the midst of other pupils or students.
For instance, if a home teacher is employed to tutor a child, the parents would not know the kind of education or values the teacher imparts to the child, hence the objective and motive of venturing into home-schooling, may not be achieved.
But one thing is certain, the child would one day return to the school environment and may therefore find it difficult to catch up or interact successfully with his or her peers because of its initial background.
Instruments or teaching aids which enhance a child’s ability to read and learn properly, are found in schools, this may not be the same in a secluded school system or the home school.
Furthermore, with increasing reported cases of children being abused by nannies, house helps and even family members, would it not be better and safer to put a child in a school where such risks are minimal?
That is not to say however that home schools do not present any advantages to the parent and child.
For example, home schooling gives the child more confidence to learn in a familiar environment and at his own pace, which may promote a sense of security and relaxed mind.
Though the present security realities and the moral decadence in the society could be part of the reasons for the home school system, education should be seen beyond reading and writing.
It is from school that a child can learn how to interact and become part of the larger society because every human being according to sociologists, is a social animal.
A child has the greatest opportunity to become worthy in both character and learning only under a school environment, where exposure to the vagaries of life, is sure.
Parents and guardians must create ample time for their children and wards for monitoring of their academic progress.
Above all, the current security challenges should be addressed towards reducing issues such as kidnapping, rape of minors, and ritual killings to ensure a safe society.