Nurturing children to be better human beings
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.
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