Christian educational institutes in Pakistan, like Gordon College, Kinnaird College for Women, Murray College, St. Deny’s High School, Forman Christian and many other Convents and Presbyterian Church schools, are well regarded and are still very popular due to the quality of education they provide. But, the question I have had in my mind for a long time is that, if the leading institutes are owned by the Christians, then why are a large number of Pakistani Christians uneducated and what’s keeping them from gaining a good education?
A large majority of Christian families are uneducated. They lack resources and equal opportunities. Due to nepotism and current economic condition of majority of Pakistani Christians, it is very tough for Christians to provide good education to their children. Fees of Christian institutions are usually sky high and it is not possible for a common Christian to admit his/her child to these schools. Muslims, on the other hand, can pay well and they are easily granted facilities from our Christian institutions.
Other than that I would like to say that our main line churches have played a vital role in education and health sector. However this facility (school or college) is not available to Christian families living in remote (non-city) areas. I wish to respectfully point out that church leaders (pastors, clergy, moderators, bishops) perhaps could do much more in terms of motivating and creating awareness among students of their respective congregations.
Being a minority, we, in different ways, are deprived of equal rights. There is religious prejudice and discrimination. In certain areas Christians are considered as low-castes. The Christian students are made victim of derogatory remarks and some odd religious questions. They face difficulties in seeking admission in educational institutions or securing jobs. All of these factors have profoundly affected the personality traits of our youth. Such a suppressed environment no doubt is a constant hurdle for Christians to excel and do well in education in fact in any field of life in Pakistan. Being a deprived class community lacking facilities and resources, we lack the academic merit, thus the doors of quality education or opportunities for good jobs are automatically closed. Low merit Christian students cannot compete and this adds to the misery pool of Christian community. This is how the vicious circle keeps going.
Recently there has been an increased awareness regarding education and its benefits and more and more people are focusing on education but much more needs to be done still.
Education is a key to success of individuals, families, communities and nation. It needs to be our priority.
Submitted by Enan Samuel