The national meeting of the Christian Teachers' Body took place in Pakistan. Discussions focused on students' financial problems and the role played by educators.
Faisalabad (Asianews) "Jesus Christ, the greatest of teachers, must be a model for us all", said Prof. Tahir Javed in his opening address at the annual national meeting of the Christian Teachers' Body of Pakistan. Prof. Javed is dean of the Physics Department of the Municipal Degree College in Faisalabad and pastor of the Calvary Church of Waris Pura.
The day-long meeting took place on 19 June at St Catherine's High School in Faisalabad. The theme of the meeting was "Students' financial problems and the role of Christian teachers". After a collective prayer, the teachers opened the first phase of debate, focused on problems facing students, especially financial ones, and possible solutions.
In his intervention, Prof. Javed, who organised the event, said: "We teachers are blessed by our role of educators of youths. For this reason, we must do our best to help our youths to resolve their problems. One of the problems of schooling in Pakistan is a lack of stimulation from parents. The financial problem is very tough but it is also true that good education is not an absolute priority for Pakistani parents, as it should be." The professor then urged his colleagues to consider teaching as "our absolute priority": "Often we teachers do not generate interest among our students and we make education seem like a boring imposition. This must change."
Fr Bonnie Mendes, national chaplain of the Pakistani Teachers' Body, opened the second part of the meeting, forcefully reaffirming Javed's position: "Teachers must understand that not much is needed to generate greater interest among students and, with a little extra effort, we can bring about lasting improvement in their quality of life."
He ended by saying: "Pakistan's Christian minority must confront ever new challenges in the country. Christian teachers must implement their role with honesty and enthusiasm, to help and motivate young people entrusted to them."
Pakistan is a country with a large Islamic majority: out of 115 million inhabitants, 97% of the population belongs to the Muslim faith and 1.5% to the Christian faith.