Nurturing children to be better human beings

Published: June 4, 2012

Children are a gift from God and it is our responsibility to provide them with education to better them as humans. PHOTO: MYRA IQBAL

In the late 1700s, when children worked the entire week and could not attend schools, Robert Raikes initiated the Sunday school movement in England so that education could be provided to them on their day-off.

Youngsters were taught how to read and write, along with being provided basic knowledge of the Bible. This movement turned out to be the precursor for a national system of education in England. This practice continues in almost all churches of Pakistan today, with the Sunday school being the place where Christian children get their basic religious education.

The church committee appoints the coordinator and superintendent for the Sunday school. The staff and teachers are usually lay people. Some of them do have a background in education, while others are volunteers with little formal training. Teachers are selected based on the prevalent perception of their character and their ability to teach the Bible.

Churches ensure their Sunday school teachers attend courses to gain an adequate understanding of faith and of the teaching process. I have been serving as a Sunday school teacher at the Central Brooks Memorial Church for 11 years. My experience of being a student, then a volunteer and finally a teacher at the school has been amazing.

It is my second home and everyone is treated like family. Children of all age groups attend the service and offer thanksgiving prayers, sing hymns and then are divided into three groups, according to their ages and are taught the Bible. This is a world where there is little room for materialistic thoughts and desires. They are taught lessons of peace, love and forgiveness. They participate in various solemnities such as Palm Sunday, Easter and Christmas, as well as Mother’s Day and Independence Day celebrations. The Annual Rally is an important event in which Sunday schools from all over Karachi compete against each other.

Children are a gift from God and it is our responsibility to provide them with basic education. Teaching them the basics of faith increases their sense of commitment towards performing duties and obligations and helps them understand God. All religions ask us to be good human beings, so regardless of which religion we adhere to a huge responsibility lies on our shoulders when it comes to the upbringing of children.

Read  more by Lovita here.

Lovita Bernard

Lovita Bernard

An MBA from Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari Institute of Technology (KASBIT) and a staffer at The Express Tribune.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Nayla

    We parents need to put more emphasis on teaching our children EMPATHY. It seems like empathy has been lost to a great degree among people. One really can’t be a good person if they lack basic empathy for others.Recommend

  • mr. righty rightist

    You want to sell your blogs lady…?

    You have to write something anti-Pakistan or pro-Indian in your blogs.

  • Parvez

    Thank you for describing how the Church manages this and it is very commendable.
    Possibly it works because the scale is relatively small and easier to monitor and manage, plus more importantly there is a will to do something good for the people. Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    The biggest problem Pakistan faces today, which has led to utter confusion and chaos, is that children are not taught the importance of following Islam fully and truly. They grow up without any proper guidance.Recommend

  • Imran Con

    Nurturing to a positive end is something simple made to look complicated. You can see what leads to it, though it’s not something easily fixed by that time and all you can really do is play damage control. Little kids just don’t have the capacity to connect the dots and are far more influenced by the idea of “getting in trouble.” Some parents may also think that’s good and in a way I suppose it can be, but not to the extent they want it to be. Threats don’t cause someone to want to take an alternate path. It just puts the trip on hold.
    Around the teens you’ll see the delayed influence because they can make comparisons between what they’re told sufficiently through life experience. At least sufficient enough for them and that’s all that matters in the scenario. The most common reason for doing things that aren’t seen as good is that everyone who tells them they shouldn’t are hypocrites. Hypocrites never maintain enough respect to actually influence others who know they are what they are. They can even feel slighted and spiteful towards the people when they get around to noticing. Most rely on the “do as I say, not as I do” line when it gets brought up. That’s exactly the type of thing they shouldn’t be saying when giving an answer.

    Education and other things may help. But, they certainly are not a requirement. Otherwise we’d just be animals who would never set foot on the path of creating concepts like education and good will. It’s not a complicated thing to raise a good human being. Anyone in a position to be looked up to or relied upon simply needs to be an actual example of the image they are peddling. The realization that the people aren’t what they’ve claimed to be for so long can turn turn their world upside down. They start questioning everything they’ve been told, so even distant past attempts at positive influence can go down in flames.Recommend

  • Sayyed Mehdi

    @mr. righty rightist

    What on earth did you find anti-Pakistan on this blog?Recommend

  • Sayyed Mehdi

    @mr. righty rightist

    I think I may have misunderstood your comment .. You probably meant to say that the author should have been anti-Pakistan or pro-Indian in order to write a really popular blog.Recommend

  • Priya

    The article is well written and it is right that we should guide and teach our kids, the value and respect of religion not even our, but others religion also.
    If we can follow the teachings then we can do better things through use the right way to be a good human being.

    Good luck and best wishes for you and your team.Recommend

  • Vikram

    @kaalchakra: “The biggest problem Pakistan faces today, which has led to utter confusion and chaos, is that children are not taught the importance of following Islam fully and truly. They grow up without any proper guidance”

    Can you name Muslim countries where children are taught following Islam fully and truly?
    What do all these madrassahs in Pakistan teach to their students. Talibans spend years studying Quran.

    Do you follow Islam fully and truly?Recommend