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August 16 2014 7 16 /08 /August /2014 15:28

 

Intro to ‘Sunday Services in Pakistan’

Edited by John R. Houk

August 16, 2014

 

Shamim writes about the incredulous hypocrisy of Pakistan’s school system especially as it affects religious minorities and worse – the girls of those minorities. I believe I found a decent website that explains how education works in Pakistan. The information was put together by a Pakistani whose name is Umbreen Sabir Mian. I find it fortunate he put together the data in English. Mian’s website info is based on a presentation he put together in 2011. Here are some excerpts that will provide a framework for Shamim’s report:

 

The educational system of Pakistan is among the least-developed in the world. The system was based on the British colonial educational system, which lasted until 1947. In that year, Pakistan gained independence as a result of the partition of the Indian subcontinent into the states of India and Pakistan. The colonial system was elitist; it was meant to educate a small portion of the population to run the government. Despite changes since independence, the Pakistani educational system has retained its colonial elitist character, a factor preventing the eradication of illiteracy. 

 

Structure

 

There are 3 main sectors of education system in Pakistan. 

 

 

>Formal Education

 

>Informal Education

 

>Religious Education

 

The provincial Education Departments are headed by their respective Provincial Education Ministers. The civil servant in charge of the department is the Provincial Education Secretary. The provinces are further divided into districts for the purpose of administration. The head of the Education Department in a district is Executive District Officer (EDO). Literacy Department functions separately in case of Punjab and Sindh only it is headed by Executive District Officer (EDO) literacy. In the Provinces of NWFP and Balochistan, literacy is the part of Education Department. The hierarchy then runs down to the District Education Officer, Sub-district Education Officer, Supervisors or Assistant Sub-district Education Officers. 

At the grass root level (the union council level), Learning Coordinators (LCs) provide academic guidance as well as supervise the schools. The administrative structure has been decentralized under the Devolution Plan. Village Education Committees (VECs)/ School Management Committees (SMCs) have been set up in the provinces at grass root level. 

 

Performance


Despite the intentions of the Pakistani government, the educational system has failed to eradicate illiteracy in the post-independence era. It has also failed to train an adequate number of professionals to meet the needs of the country in different fields, which has been a major hindrance to the nation's economic development. …

 

…  The government privatized the schools nationalized in the 1970s. It also reversed the process of promoting Urdu as the language of education and encouraged a return to English language in the elite private schools. Finally, the government emphasized Pakistani studies and Islamic studies as two major fields in the curriculum. This was a shift from colonial education's emphasis on British history and English culture and literature. 

 

 

The government of Pakistan recognized that education is the basic right of every citizen; therefore, access to education for every citizen is crucial for economic development and for poverty alleviation. …

 

 

… The targeted groups for EFA goals belong to disadvantaged communities with minimal opportunities. These groups are highly vulnerable, without access to learning facilities, or public sector facilities, which are functioning at sub-optimal levels. 

 

Female Education


The Pakistani educational system has demonstrated a discriminatory trend against women. This bias is evident in the pattern of literacy, which shows a strong correlation between gender and literacy rates. …

 

 

Despite all shortcomings of private education mentioned above, PIHS survey indicates that enrolment rates in public schools have declined since 1995-96 particularly a large decline has been observed in rural areas. It is generally perceived by parents that quality of education in private schools are better than the public schools, therefore, those parents who can afford prefer to send their children to private schools. These trends indicate that the public education system is unable to meet public demand for providing quality education in the country.  (Education system of Pakistan; Pakistan – Higher Education System)

 

I realize this was a quite lengthy intro to Shamim Masih’s report on the lack of education opportunities for Pakistani Christians. Many might even feel this is superfluous info and as such unneeded. The Pakistani who put the data together not unsurprisingly failed to mention anything about religious minority discrimination let alone Christian discrimination.

 

Actually the treatment of Christians in Pakistan is symptomatic of all Christians throughout the entire Muslim world. So read and become enlightened to what the Western World has been sticking their heads in the sand for quite some time. AND PLEASE SUPPORT SHAMIM MASIH WITH YOUR GENEROSITY.**  

 

JRH 8/16/14

*****************************

Sunday Services in Pakistan

Plight of Pakistani Christians

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 8/15/2014 7:08 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: When Church bells are ringing and you hear worship songs all around your surroundings on Sunday services, it sounds good. But it is only possible in a Christian country not in Islamic Republic of Pakistan. In Pakistan, on Friday, you will find that people block the roads for Friday prayer near and around the mosques. Although it is said that mosque is not for prayer but a base for recruiting Muslim youths to engage in terrorist activities. It sounds that Pakistan has become the hub to control religious extremism and discrimination.

 

On the other hand, religious minorities have been targeted; colonies, villages were being burned, accused in false cases of blasphemy, victims of intimidation, forced marriages, and force conversions is seen in this country. New church buildings are restricted unconstitutional, and you cannot arrange religious gathering at your homes even. During the last few weeks; we started Sunday service at our home but our landlord asked me to stop this service because we live in Muslims’ surroundings. According to the report, the greatest levels of social hostilities toward religion felt in Pakistan. Social hostilities include armed conflict, terrorism, sectarian violence, harassment, intimidation or abuse motivated by religious factors. Harassment against Christians has been increased in the recent decade.

 

Government has imposed unannounced restrictions on religious minorities’ which include political restrictions, limit preaching, and construction of the new church buildings. On the other hand when a Christian is accused of blasphemy, the people of a neighborhood gather to punish the accused, burning him alive or lynching him. The police and the government have never punished such acts.

 

Education is basic right of every child and [the] state is responsible to provide basic rights to every citizen. Ninety percent of the Christian girls remain uneducated and indulged in household jobs.  They are being sexually harassed and then being forced to convert to Islam. If girls from the minority go to school they face discrimination. They are not only forced to study Islamic studies but forced to do manual jobs like cleaning in the schools while other girls remain in the class rooms. Iffat Nasim, headmistress of the Government Khadija Girls High School in Rawalpindi, is reportedly involved in extra-educational activities by indulging the Christian students in cleaning/washing classrooms, toilets, verandas/corridors for hours and preparing burgers/buns from Muslim students for earning money for her.

 

Parents of the different Christian students submitted an application to the District [Executive] Education Officer (EDO) Qazi Zahoor ul Haq. He conducted an inquiry but it was not in letter and spirit, rather [it was] swept under the carpet. Parents provided rotated clips and pictures even then no prompt action is being taken. The above mentioned activity not only depicts her interest in education, but also shows her discriminatory attitude towards the Christian community. This is not the end; discrimination against religious minorities is seen in every walk of life in Pakistan.

 

Request: I want to make a documentary on the plight of the Christian women in Pakistan, please support me, if you can. **

 

[**Blog Editor: The information enabling you to support and/or donate to Shamim Masih is below.]    

___________________________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Text enclosed by brackets are by the Editor

 

© Shamim Masih

Special Correspondents

Daily Khabrian (PakBiz.com description) & Channel - 5

Human Rights Activist

 

Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist
 

Secretary General of Information 

Pakistan Christian Congress

 

Shamim Masih’s Donate/Support info:

 

Editor: For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone - +92-300-642-4560

 

FOR USD TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, NEW YORK
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:
        MSHQUS33
Beneficiary Bank:
                        JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:
                JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:
        70008227
Title Of a/c
                               Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:
                405527

 

Top of Form

IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227


FOR GBP TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:
                        MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:
        MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:
                        JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:
                JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:
        00010855
Title Of a/c
                               Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:
                405527
IBAN #
                                       pk80jsbl9530000000405227



FOR EURO TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:
                        MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:
        MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:
                        JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:
                JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:
        10847
Title Of a/c
                               Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:
                405527
IBAN #
                                       pk80jsbl9530000000405227 Bottom of Form

 

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