(The information and statistics in this article were gleaned from a NY Times article written in 2012, titles “How Pakistan Is Failing It’s Children”. Based on conversations with our people, in the field, we understand that the conditions have not changed.)
The “public school system” in Pakistan has been thoroughly run into the ground by constant government changes and corrupt politics. This is a concept we, in America, struggle to understand with our government passing laws like “No Child Left Behind”. Our government, no matter your personal politics, does work to see that all children in our country get a proper education. But what if the government didn’t care? What if they were only seeking their best interest? What if teaching positions went to the “highest bidder” (or the highest campaign donor)? That is what the children in Pakistan face, every day. There is an utter disregard for the children, and the fact that they are constitutionally guaranteed “free and compulsory” education. The facts are, however, that Pakistani government is, indeed, failing its children miserably.
Statistics show that there are approximately 52 million children in Pakistan, and half of them are testing at levels students half their age should be at. They are not getting the education they need and deserve, because of the teaching positions being given to those unqualified, and schools being in desperate need of repair. It is estimated that 51% of schools have no electricity, 36% have no drinking water, and 42% have no working toilets. The government of Pakistan has no plans to change these unacceptable conditions.
Enter Harvest Field Corners…
Each microloan given out is done so with the understanding that the recipient will tithe to their local church and educate their children. The latter is a tall order when you consider the corrupt nature of the school system. Therefore, we are working to help them.
One of our churches, in the field, started two schools in 2008 for grades one through eight, and has approximately 140 students. Many of the students in the school come from Muslim families who cannot afford “free state education”, so the families are allowing them to attend the Christian school – which charges nothing. The teachers are qualified to teach basic education classes and the Gospel of Christ. Part of what they do is visit with the families of their students to share the Good News – what an amazing open door God has provided! While the church is doing what it can to meet the need of education, they still need our help. They have basic needs, which we take for granted. Harvest Field Corners plans to come alongside them and help with the physical needs they have like school uniforms and furniture (desks and chairs). In doing so, we hope to ease a bit of the physical strain they feel, while they meet the spiritual and mental needs of the people in their community.