The Government should consider ending compulsory education and allowing some parents to tutor their own children, education experts argued yesterday. The Education Ordinance makes it illegal for parents to keep children aged between six and 15 away from school. But home-schooling has been growing in popularity in the West, with an estimated one million children taught at home in the United States. It is time the law was reviewed, according to Dr Philip Hui Kwok-fai, education studies lecturer at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. 'There must be some parents who are fed up with the local education system and willing to make less money and stay at home to teach their children,' Dr Hui said. 'Still others who are 'soho' [small-office-home-office] professionals are able to do so as well.' He said public examinations were adequate tools for enabling parents to monitor their children's progress, adding that 'academic credentials may not be crucial in the current economy'. Professor Wong Yuk-shan, vice-president of City University, said exceptions should be made for those who chose to school their children at home. 'There are some children who learn better under their parents at home. The Government shouldn't deprive parents of such a right,' Professor Wong said. But he said parents should take into account that home-schooling might stop their children from developing social and communication skills, since they might not mix with a large peer group as at school. Both academics said that, in general, parents who chose to home-school children should not be required to have training or qualifications, or to undergo any assessment. However, the Government should conduct regular evaluations to ensure that the academic level of the children was on a par with that in school. A wealth of material about independent learning, curriculum and resources is available on the Internet for US parents who want their children home-schooled. US-based Web site learning freedom.org says home-schooling is defined as children who learn under the monitoring of parents at home without the attendance of teachers on a campus. In October last year, a review was undertaken of the nine-year compulsory education system, which began in 1978. It was concluded that the policy should remain unchanged. There was no mention in the review's findings of home-schooling. The Education Department was not available for comment on the issue last night.