In Argentina, home education it's not expressly forbidden, which is why it is not illegal. Nor is the practice regulated by a specific law (as in other countries). A situation of “allegality” is found.

Those who practice home education are covered by Art. 14 of the National Constitution, which recognizes all its inhabitants the rights to teach and learn.

The National Education Law (No. 26.206) regulates the exercise of the constitutional rights to teach and learn, and places the State as guarantor of the right to education, in accordance with the provisions of Article 75,19 CN 5) and different International Treaties of which Argentina is a signatory. It also provides that the family is the “natural and primary agent” in the education of children 6) and recognizes the right of mothers and fathers to choose an educational institution that responds to their philosophical, ethical or religious convictions, according to with International Treaties. Also, the current Civil Code of Argentina determines in Article 646, C that the duties of the parents include “respect the right of children and adolescents to be heard and to participate in their educational process, as well as in everything related to their personal rights”. Although it is the same law that establishes the obligation of mothers and fathers to ensure the concurrence of children in school establishments for the fulfillment of schooling.

Faced with this legal tension between National Education Law (No. 26,206) and the National Constitution (in addition to international treaties), those who carry out processes of “education without school” usually rely on the prevailing provisions of the Constitution regarding the primary role of parents and the family. In addition, there are mechanisms of “alternative schooling” provided by the formal education system that allows accrediting formal knowledge to those who do not attend school regularly. The figure of “free student” is present in several districts of Argentina, like the City of Buenos Aires, Rio Negro province, Córdoba province and others.

In practice, most of the families that practice home education are recognized as such and are enabled to get official certification in public schools as “free students” by an exam that takes place once or twice per year. The exams are free of cost and are determined by the official curriculum dictated by state bodies.

It is worth mentioning that, since the National Education Law was enacted, sanctioned in 2006, there have been three court cases of families that educated at home. Two of them in the province of Neuquén and the last one in Salta. One of them was favorable to the family, who was able to continue with their practice and, and the other two determined that the mother had to return to school her daughter who had stopped attending school to carry out homeschooling practices. Below we provide a brief commentary on these three cases.

Case of 2008 in Neuquen

The case of 2008 entitled “V. M. C. y otro. s/ Medida de protección de persona”, was favorable to the family. In that moment in effect the provincial education law No. 242 and its Dec. Reg. N ° 572/62 that in its Articles 26 and 27 established the compulsory nature of teaching, but “DEFENSORÍA DE LOS DERECHOS DE NIÑOS, NIÑAS Y ADOLESCENTES C/B.J. S/ACCIÓN DE AMPARO” (2016) admitted that it could be taught in the home, according to the parents' choice. For this modality, it established that the Provincial Council of Education (C.P.E.) should determine the means of controlling this type of education and set the system for its recognition and certification. The Provincial Chamber decided that it is the parents' right to choose the type of education that their children should receive, and who should provide the means for this to be effective, is the enforcement authority, that is, the C.P.E. It also argued that it is not up to justice to “persuade” about the importance of conventional education, since the application standards cited include primary education in the home, according to the parents' choice. Otherwise, it would matter to invade private areas guaranteed constitutionally, being also that the girls were not in a situation of danger or risk regarding their education.

Case of 2016 in Neuquen

The case of 2016 entitled “DEFENSORÍA DE LOS DERECHOS DE NIÑOS, NIÑAS Y ADOLESCENTES C/B.J. S/ACCIÓN DE AMPARO (2016)” wasn't favorable to the family and enforced the compulsory schooling of the child. The different instances of this case take place during the reform of the provincial education law of Neuquén, and when it reaches the Superior Court of the Province, the Organic Law of Education No. 2945 was already in force, which replaces the old law 242, and that in its Art 12 establishes that “the schooling of girls, boys and adolescents is mandatory, from four years of age until the completion of the secondary level, in accordance with National Law 26.606”. The Court decides to rule against the mother's intention to home educate the girl, on the basis that the best interest of the girl is her right -and obligation- to schooling, and that this prevails over the opinion that the mother may have regard to the formal education system. It argues that “the decision to exclude her from school entails harmful consequences for the present and future of the girl, who is a different person from the mother and should not bear the consequences of decisions based on personal life choices”. It also provides that the right that assists the mother to provide her with an education according to family and / or religious values ​​may be satisfied at home, simultaneously with schooling. Finally, regarding the right of the girl to be heard, in virtue of the best interests of the child, the Court understood that “according to her age (7 years), her opinion can not be taken into account because he is not in a position to evaluate the current and future prejudice caused by the exclusion of the education system and for the same reason can not choose a lifestyle that contravenes their rights”.

Case of 2019 in Salta

The case of 2019 entitled “C., A. R. vs. P., N. B. POR PIEZAS PERTENECIENTES”1) wasn’t favorable to the families that not schooling. In this case, the father demands the mother for not schooling the child. In the first judicial instance, the Court enforced the compulsory schooling of the child. In the second legal instance, The Court confirmed the decision. Understand that the right to education of the child it's more important than the mother’s opinion of the traditional education system.

Although the mother explains that it is not a case of abandonment of the child, because she understand that his right education is guaranteed by a different alternative to traditional education, the Court doesn’t accept that, because it believes that this alternative it is not recognized by The State.

Explains that the alternative education model proposed by the mother “won't allow the child to have an official certification or degree that allows him to get a job that requires it, continue university studies and it doesn’t guaranteed the socialization of the child with their peers, neither the contents and learning axes nessesary for him devolpment.” The Court dismiss the educational alternative propussed by the mother, because it considers that it hasn’t been demostrated that aternative satisfy the curricular contents required by the current school system in this country, neither “guaranteed the aspects that are central in the formation of a person”. That alternative also doesn’t satisfy the socialization requirement. The Court understand all these issues are guaranteed by the formal education system.

Because of the disagreement of the parents between each other (they are divorced, the mother conducts the rise of the child and the father disagree with homeschooling), The Court understands that it’s the Justice that must resolve this controversy, and in that resolution the best interest of the child must be consider. In that sense undserstand that of all the options, the one that mostly conforms to the protection of that interest, it’s the “compulsory schooling in the formal education system”, arguing in favor of this option that “education is the best way to facilitate the inclusion of young people in the labor market and is a leveling tool that favors equality”.

Finally, The Court cites, in favor of its arguments, the case “Defensoría de los Derechos de Niños, Niñas y Adolescentes c. B. J. s/ acción de amparo” (a previous case of 2016 in Argentina already explained before) del Tribunal Superior de Neuquen, making the exception that this judicial record is not assimilable to this case, because it was a claim of both parents, both parents agreed on deschooling. Based on the same previous case, the Court explained that “it was considered that the decision to exclude a child from school entails harmful consequences for the present and future of the child, who is a person different from that of his parents and should not bear the consequences of decisions that are based on personal choices”.

Assosiations, networks and groups



Resources and references

Projects of Law

  • In 2013 deputy Julián Martín Obiglio presented a law project entitled Integral Framework for Home Education. File: 7941-D-2013. The project didn't pass.