A school is providing education to children to asylum seekers in Thailand. This school is being run by British Pakistani Christian Association, while the school administration is urging for an expansion owing to the increasing needs. The current school set up comprises two classrooms, and there is an need for another classroom.
In this regard, Pastor Nadeem has urged Wilson Chaudhry- Chairman of British Pakistani Christians Association to facilitate the extension programme. The current school comprises of two classrooms one for primary aged children and the other for secondary aged children. Nonetheless, the school administration has planned to accommodate students ranging from ages 3 – 7 years, in one classroom, 8 – 12 years in second and 13 – 17 years in the third.
The estimated cost for this extension plan is exorbitant, for this reason the British Pakistani Christian Association is further asking for contributions in order to cover the costs for the third classroom. The total estimated amount is about 1660£. At present, four teachers are being hired at the school, at a monthly salary of 40£. The BPCA, further states that the third classroom will require two more teachers.
The school is currently, offering students a wide-ranging syllabus primarily through online and classroom-based-learning programmes. The school’ curriculum subjects include; English, Mathematics, Science, Computer studies, Art and Bible studies. Moreover, the students also attend a Christian assembly every morning before the classes start.
At the moment, about 50 students from asylum seeking families are enrolled in this school. About 25 students are expected to join classes. However, unless a third classroom is built, these 25 students will not be enrolled in the school. The enrolled students have been attending the classes since more than 6 months, and will be appearing in the examinations at the end of this year.
The Principal of this school, Ms. Azra Sohail while speaking about the school said, “Our children had no opportunity to go to school before the BPCA intervened. Now it’s possible for them to attend school at their doorstep so parents are really committed to the project as they feel their children are safe. Many fear leaving our condominium due to the potential for arrest.”
“The children are progressing well they come to classes excited to be able to learn, their lives were full of boredom and frustration before but they are now able to channel their energies towards something that benefits them. They realize this and it has given them a real passion for the learning process. The monthly salary I receive allows me to pay my monthly rent. My husband still has to work illegally but we have much better stability. I was a professional teacher in Pakistan and am not used to such poverty but life is more important then wealth and survival became our priority,” she added.
A 12-year-old student Sameer Saleem said: “My parents are happy because they don’t have to pay for it and I’m getting the same education as I was getting in Pakistan. The teachers are very nice and cooperative and I’m thankful to Jesus that he has given me this opportunity despite the severe difficulties we face in our life as asylum seekers.” “I am very happy that I can study, the teachers are extremely nice and helpful,” 9-year-old, Vishal said.