Lives shaped by the Bible
at two pre-schools for Christian children from Islamabad slums
Barnabas Fund supports 124 schools in Pakistan, providing a quality Christian education for more than 11,000 Christian children and employment for Christian teachers. They provide a loving Christian environment where children are able to grow in their faith and receive a general education.
Among the schools we support are two pre-schools in Islamabad, for children aged between three and five, living in the slums of the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.
“My daughter is learning very fast,” said one of the mothers, Neelam. “Teachers are doing an excellent effort in helping children to shape their lives as per the teaching of the Bible.”
The majority of the people living in these Islamabad slums are poor Christians who have migrated from rural areas to find work. They live in small mud-and-brick houses and most are illiterate and work in low-paid jobs such as office cleaners or domestic servants.
The pre-schools have had a 100% success rate in the last eight years with their pupils passing the tests in maths, Urdu, English and general knowledge that they need to go to their next schools.
The two pre-schools cater for 138 pupils from Christian families. Their ten members of staff, including five teachers, are all local Christians.
Bible taught through pictures, songs and stories
Parents especially appreciate the pre-schools’ unique Spiritual Development Course, which uses pictures, stories and songs to teach children about significant Biblical figures. These include Adam and Eve and Moses in the Old Testament, and Mary and Joseph in the New Testament, as well as five key lessons on the life of Jesus Christ. Each lesson ends with a series of questions to enable teachers to assess their pupils’ understanding.
Teachers also encourage children to think for themselves and consider how to apply their lessons to their daily lives by making regular class visits in the local community.
Teacher “is so kind and caring”
Four-year-old Ananies felt sad when he could not go to pre-school during the lockdown, and loves his teacher very much. “She is so kind and caring,” he explained.
Last year he came top in the annual exams for his group. “I was so happy that I started jumping for joy,” he said.
His favourite Bible verse is Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Ananies said he was very happy when he performed in the school Christmas song and has an almost unbroken attendance (90%) record at his Sunday school, where he is very punctual.
During lockdown, staff ensured their young students’ learning continued uninterrupted by providing weekly worksheets in all subjects, and gave weekly assessments and encouragement on the children’s progress. Teachers also arranged regular meetings with parents in small, Covid-compliant groups to mutually review pupils’ progress and seek suggestions for further improvement.
Pupils given ability to innovate
“The school management involve parents in school … to improve its systems, policies and syllabus to better serve children and parents,” said Naila, whose son, Abneer, is a former pupil, and daughter, Zaina, is a current pupil at the school.
Naila is thankful that the pre-school’s Christian guidance and its general knowledge teaching have instilled in her children the ability to think, analyse and be innovative.
Project reference: 41-1209 (Christian schools in Pakistan)