Faisalabad (Agenzia Fides) - In the Pakistani diocese of Faisalabad, in Punjab province, the Year of mercy coincides with a special "Year of Education", proclaimed by Bishop Joseph Arshad. "We urgently need to grow in the awareness that working for education is a work of mercy: education is an important tool which allows to develop the full potentiality of every individual", said to Fides Mgr. Arshad, who is visiting the Catholic schools of the diocese which accommodate many Muslim students.
The goal is "to consolidate school institutions in the diocese, to promote quality education, increase students interest in implementing a teaching and learning based on activities", he explains to Fides, but also "to motivate parents and encourage teachers to make education accessible to everyone, helping deserving students to continue their education, as well as increasing the number of Christian students in schools and reduce the number of dropouts".
During the Year, schools are organizing targeted educational programs and "there is enthusiasm and thriving participation. This is a great opportunity for students to develop their confidence and for teachers to explore the hidden talents of students", said the Bishop after visiting, in recent days, St. Paul Girls High School, Sacred Hart Convent High School, St. Joseph High School and St. Anthony Girls High School in Faisalabad.
Mgr. Arshad always emphasizes "the importance of formation" and stresses the responsibilities and the valuable role of teachers, who "contribute to the human formation of students".
One of the priorities, notes the Bishop is "reaching poor and needy children, especially of Christian families, who have no access to school". It is the duty of Christian Schools "to economically support Christian children from poor families, so that they can continue their studies". To this end, for example, the LaSalle High School in Faisalabad offers a 50% reduction of fees for Christian students. And the 800 Christian students in the Sacred Heart Convent School receive a 40% reduction of fees, says to Fides Fr. Shafiqe Bashir, Executive Secretary of the Diocesan Council for Catholic education. "We are confident - said Fr. Bashir - that the visits that Mgr. Arshad is carrying out in schools will serve to motivate teachers and students and schools to promote education". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 23/09/2016)