Pakistan has changed their school calendar this year. Up until now, schools have operated on a year-round schedule, with only very short breaks a few times during the year.
But things are changing.
Due in part to the changing climate and increasingly hot summers each year, the government is now mandating a summer vacation for all schools and colleges.
In Punjab province, where Christ Public School is located, the schools will be closed from June 1 to August 14 for summer vacation.
But learning will continue while the students are at home, because Summer Vacation Home Workbooks will be sent home with the children. These will contain specific lessons that need to be completed – at each grade level – during the 10 week break.
Principal Amin has asked for our prayers and help in providing workbooks for 250 children, costing $2.00 per child. The workbooks must be procured before the end of this month.
If you’re able to help, please donate as soon as possible so that Amin will have time to place his order and receive the books prior to May 31st. Amin says, “It’s very compulsory for each child. God bless you.”
As always, Amin and the children are very grateful for all the prayers and support from so many people who care.
Due to an increase in terrorist activity over the past few years, the Pakistani government now requires security cameras to be installed in all schools.
Already, shortly after the Peshawar school attack in 2014, all of Pakistan’s schools were required to construct eight-foot-high boundary walls topped with razor wire. Amin’s school only had 6-foot walls at the time, so the needed changes were made.
CCTV cameras were also being highly recommended. Now they are compulsory. Of course, this is a huge expense for a school that depends mainly on donations!
A short news article from three years ago* in the Episcopal News Service website expressed it well. After listing the security measures being imposed by the government at that time, they added (quoting from a Peshawar
church news site):
“ ‘All the Christian educational and other institutions have already taken the so-called security measures but they are highly inadequate,’ Frontier News says. ‘The arms and ammunition, security cameras, walk-through gates, barriers and the armed guards are an expensive commodity, and far beyond the reach of poor and highly vulnerable Christian communities.’ ”
Principal Amin is required to install 4 Closed Circuit Television security cameras, two inside the courtyard, and two outside the front entrance. The two in the courtyard will monitor the interior classroom doors.
The two exterior cameras will capture video in both directions, up and down the street.
Amin hopes the cost will not exceed $200 to $250. The CCTV cameras are supposed to be installed by April 10 when the school’s registration is renewed.
Besides the cost of the camera system, there’s a $300 total fee for the school registration renewal, with part of it due by April 10th as a deposit. The registration renewal process will continue for 2-3 months.
The registration fee covers things like filing fees for legal documents for all the teachers, having the floor plan (“school map”) drawn of the school, and health certifications.
The deadline is here, and more help is needed. Please be praying for this need to be met, and any donations you care to contribute will be greatly appreciated.
Meanwhile, Amin has recently accepted two new students into the school, “very poor children”. His heart is so big, he would gladly take in even more if there was room for them.
There are now 252 students in the regular daytime classes, and another 55 in the “academy” that Amin teaches after the school session ends. This is a special afternoon/evening program for older students who were unable to regularly attend school when they were younger, and they need to catch up.
* If you’d like to read another, more recent article about school security in Pakistan, here’s one from December 2018: Gulf News Asia
Every year Christ Public School gives uniforms to the orphans and poor children who attend the school, by the grace of God.
Here is a picture from last year.
This year’s Fun Fair and Uniform Ceremony will take place on February 28, which is tomorrow night (the 27th) on the U.S. side of the globe.
Amin reports that they have counted 50 kids this year who need a uniform, socks, shoes, a tie, and so forth. This will cost about $15 per child.
Here is a precious little boy raising his hand to indicate that he needs a uniform.
As always, Amin appreciates everyone who is able to help supply the needed funds to carry on the work of educating these children and giving them a future.
He invites you to help one or more kids by “sending your Love” by Western Union, Money Gram, or Paypal. “God bless you. Remember this program in your prayers.”
It’s never too late to join in, because the needs are ongoing. Books are still being paid for in installments, due at the end of each month. Then there are teachers’ salaries, food for the lunch program, and so much more just to keep the school functioning day after day.
God always supplies the needs and makes a way, and you and I are so blessed to be a part of the blessing for these children.
Today should have been the first day of the new school year for the kids at Christ Public School.
However, due to extremely cold weather, the Pakistani government in that province has extended the winter vacation for both public and private schools.
This is the news article (on the left) that Amin posted in his Facebook timeline.
Understanding the School Year
The school year in Pakistan is different than in many other places including the U.S. In fact, there are two different calendars within Pakistan, depending on whether the school is a Christian school or a secular school.
Most Christian schools end the old school year and begin the new school year according to the calendar year. So, toward the end of December, the children are taking their final exams and having the big Results Day event where they learn their test scores, receive trophies for achievement, and are promoted to the next class.
Secular schools, on the other hand, will end their school year in March and begin the new year in April. So when those kids are going back to school in January following the winter break, it is still the same school year (just like here in America).
Winter Vacation runs for about two weeks. (The Results Day is actually a special celebration that’s held during the break.) This year, the break is closer to being three weeks long because of the weather delay.
Books for the coming school year are frequently given out on Results Day at Christ Public School, but there was a delay this year due to shortage of funds. Books were distributed to the kids from December 28th to 30th.
And then, school was supposed to start again on January 2nd, but now it will start on January 7th instead.
Meanwhile, Amin appreciates all donations that have been received so far, and has faith for the remaining funds to be provided, as he will be making the installment payments for the books at the end of each month.
The shop owner was willing to let Amin pay for the books in three installments, to be paid in full by March 31st.
Last week the children of Christ Public School took their annual exams for the end of the school term.
Today they held the “Results Day” reward ceremony where the top achievers were given trophies, and every child was given a gift.
It was a wonderful celebration that included various performances including tableaux, dramas, and debates.
Amin thanked his Facebook friends, saying “Hallelujah, Greeting Dear Friends. We have successful program of Annual result today. Kids performed different Tabloos or Dramas or debates etc. We are thankful to all of you for prayers.”
A tableau, in case you’ve forgotten, is where people wear costumes and pose in a motionless scene for the audience to enjoy. Here are a couple of examples:
Here is a photo from last week’s annual exam:
Below, the children were completing their test papers last week. It looks like it was a foggy morning in this outdoor courtyard. Notice how some of the students have to sit on the cold brick floor because there are not enough desks or benches.
And here are more photos from the Results Day ceremony:
Children spoke or performed while the audience watched.
Trophies were presented and gifts were distributed.
There was even an appearance by Santa Claus.
Next week, books for the next term will be distributed to the children from the 28th to the 30th of December. Principal Amin is pointing to this announcement near the bottom of the banner.
The books have been purchased on credit and are ready for distributing to the kids. Amin is very grateful for donations that have been received. He is trusting God to supply the remaining funds, as only a small amount has been received to date.
The first half of the full price will be due next week (December 31), a payment of $1,250. Amin asks for everyone’s prayers, and for our donations if it is possible.
The remaining half will be due in two “easy” installments, $625 on January 31, and $625 on February 28.
Let’s all help with our prayers, and maybe some of us can also be a part of this miracle for these precious children.
Christ Public School celebrated it’s 19 year anniversary on November 29th, 2018. It was a joyful occasion for the kids.
The school’s birthday was not the only birthday to be celebrated that day. Amin’s twins turned 12 years old the very same day. They were born … totally by coincidence, of course … on the school’s 7th birthday.
Happy 12th Birthday to Amin’s son and daughter, Happy and Mahek!
The school trip on November 27th was a great success! Funds were received just in time, and the children were able to go.
Here are some of the highlights from their adventure in Had Balo ki safari park.
I can’t help but notice that some of the rides and activities are similar to what American kids experience on a school playground, a community fair, or at a neighborhood park or zoo. Here we take it for granted that our children can do these simple things. But for kids in Pakistan, it is not so common. Parents are not so easily able to share these kinds of experiences with their children.
Principal Amin was thrilled to share the excitement with the kids. He reported that a person welcomed them at the entry gate with a drum. Here is a short video he took. (Click on the image):
Here is another video of the children enjoying a ride. Amin posted it on Facebook.
More images… see how much fun everyone was having!
This was a very satisfying trip, enjoyed by everyone! Thanks for your prayers and help in providing this for the kids.