There are many factors affecting education in Pakistan and one of the main barriers faced by the Christian minority is a lack of opportunity for the poorest communities. Even those who are keen to learn or passionate about providing education can find that they simply don’t have the facilities to do so.

Starfish Asia believes that it is simply not good enough to provide the bare minimum. To lift the whole community, to lift the importance of education quality of infrastructure and content play key roles.

Supporting Local Leaders

Local Pakistani’s with a passion (e.g. teachers, pastors or just concerned Christians) may open a simple Primary School to teach their community’s children to read and write. Often this is simply in their own home to begin with. They may charge a monthly fee so as to pay a small salary – perhaps £30 to £50 ($40 to $65) a month – to a teacher. Yet many cannot afford to pay the fees, even if they did want to send their children to school.

We want to support such people with drive and compassion to fulfil their vision. Starfish Asia steps in (when we have the funds) to provide a small subsidy, starting from £250 / $325 a month, to help provide:

  • Rent for a suitable property
  • Better salaries for qualified teachers

Improving Facilities

Some schools lack blackboards and furniture. Many have only intermittent electricity and only basic sanitation. Starfish Asia is improving educational standards, by providing resources including books, equipment and uniform, and to help develop school buildings so that they can be places children like to come to.

These are the essential requirements of a well-equipped school High School for 300 children:

  • A 10-room building (rented): Monthly about £150 / $200
  • Adequate salaries for 12 staff members: Monthly £650 / $850
  • Furniture, desks and chairs for all: £1,200 / $1,500
  • A science lab and library: £1,500 / $2,000
  • Text books for each child: Annually £1,200 / $1,500
  • Fans for each classroom: £15 / $20 each
  • Water cooler to provide clean cool drinking water: £150 / $200 each

Building Work

Not only are they under-equipped, but often the existing school buildings themselves are dark, dingy, cramped and in some cases unsafe.

Where possible, Starfish Asia raises funds in order to carry out vital
building work to ensure the safety of students and staff. This could be the strengthening of foundations, repair of unsteady brickwork, fixing plaster or even the addition of extra classrooms.

Securing Accreditation

Our aim in Starfish Asia is that all schools we support should be registered with the Provincial Board of Education. This requires qualified teachers, proper maintenance of records, sufficient classroom space, a library and science lab.

All schools supported by Starfish Asia follow the Pakistan Government curriculum and take Board of Education public exams. Schools are visited regularly by our own local staff and from the UK. Together they monitor progress by results and performance, and give helpful guidance for improvement.

Teacher training

Teachers are important role models for today’s young people. Yet many teachers in Pakistan have no proper qualifications and limited training.

Starfish Asia seeks to develop the skills and qualifications of Pakistan’s Christian teachers, especially those who are serving the poor, through providing training and scholarships.

In 2022 Starfish Asia has enabled almost 400 teachers to receive professional, practical and relevant training. The training was conducted over a period of almost two months with teachers in different levels (pre-primary, Primary and secondary) attending in groups of around 40 over a period of 4 days per group.

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