Need of Christian University in Pakistan,
|The importance of higher education to qualify standard merit policy set forth by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for opportunities of government and semi government jobs urges Pakistani Christian Nation to equip with best academic records to compete
|The missionary schools and colleges with better buildings, experienced staff and English medium of instruction in Pakistan remained business concerns and only served the children of feudal lords, businessmen and officials of civil service when Christians never enjoyed privileges nor were beneficiary missionary academic institutions.
The statistical data pertains education standard among Pakistani Christian population indicates that only 6% have the primary school education having ability to read and write, 4% of Christians have the high school education and are eligible to compete on grade 4 pay scale jobs in government and semi government institutions, 1% Christians have the college education and able to compete on grade12 to 17 pay scale government jobs, 0.5% Christians have the higher studies and professional education. These figures declare very alarming situation when Christians have even lower education percentage comparing to general population rate of 13%. The Christians are 15% of total population with 8% literacy rate.
The missionary schools were source of education of 57% in Pakistan in 1947 at the time of independent of Pakistan. The missionary schools and colleges were established in British colonial period in sub continent of India. In 1965 the government run schools led the missionary schools and their education services dropped to 35% in the county. If missionary schools have played positive role and preferred to educate Christian community the 100% Pakistani Christians have been fallen in educated class of the society up till 1972, the nationalization of missionary institution by the government. When the government nationalized these institutions. The missionary schools were in operation in every major city and colleges were in Karachi, Lahore, Sialkot, Rawalpindi and Peshawar.
The Christians enjoyed 5% quota of admissions in engineering, medical and other higher education institutes of Pakistan since 1947, which was abolished in 1973. The few doctors and engineers in Christian community now visible are fruit of that quota system only.
Unfortunately the missionary schools run by different church groups in Pakistan never showed any interest in establishment of any professional college or to up grade the missionary colleges to university.
The admissions on merit were adopted as principal policy in 1973 but Urban quota, the Rural area quota, Governors quota, Chief Ministers quota, Prime Ministers quota, President of Pakistan quota, Children of Armed Forces quota, Professors quota, Kashmir Refugees quota, Members of Parliament quota and Businessmen quota on specific amount
of donations in the medical and engineering colleges remained effective in Pakistan. All such quota categories were used as back door for admissions to Muslims students who failing to seek entry on merit but the Christians were set out of these privileges of quota system in the name of merit. The poor economic conditions and lack of resources bared Christian youth to concentrate in studies and achieve merit in examinations. The Christian students have no approach or relationship with President, Prime Minister, Chief Ministers, Governors and Members of Parliament who used these Quota admissions for their relatives, which have entirely closed the higher, and professional education opportunities on Christian youth in Pakistan.
Under such prevailing circumstances it can very easily assessed that when academic institutions established and run in name of Christianity in Pakistan failed to serve and doors of government education were also shut on Christians, what shall be the economic and social situations of Christians in Pakistan? On other hand, the society of Pakistan in practice of social evil and curse of touchability where Christian students were forced to leave the Muslim and government run schools due to hate on religion basis where Muslim students hated to drink water from same taps or utensils with Christians students in schools and colleges.
Ch James Dean, a Christian political leader based at Karachi was the first to stress upon establishment of Christian university in Pakistan. He presented facts and feasibility of Christian university in public gatherings and other forums in Pakistan. He was of opinion that Christian university can only fulfill the future needs of Christian youth. I availed opportunity to participated along with Ch. James Dean in such meetings during my studies in Karachi University.
I have also honor to join him in public protest processions when the government nationalized the missionary schools and colleges in Pakistan on allegations that missionary schools have been running as business concerns by churches and general public is not beneficiary of these highly paid academic institutes in 1972. He urged the government to stop nationalization of Christian institutes and termed it closure of doors of education for Christian youth in Pakistan. It was fact that very low fraction of Christians had opportunity to enter in missionary schools and colleges to enjoy privileges of education.
When we discuss the importance of higher education institutes in sub continent of India, established by the religious communities for betterment and education of future generations, its on record that Muslims in sub continent of India established oriental college and upgraded it to Muslim university in aligrah in 1920, when Muslim community experienced that Hindu majority is ahead of them in civil services and its important for Muslim youth to study English and to avail opportunity of higher education to compete with Hindu majority.
No doubt, that Aligrah Muslim university played positive role for Muslims to regain their standards in society and to made their way in the administration of the state.
Recently in Pakistan, the Agha Khan community have established a university in Karachi which have emerged as major professional institution in Pakistan to educate their community as well as the general population of Pakistan, On other hand few Christians tried to follow the dream of Ch. James Dean to establish Christian university but these so called religious and social leaders have been using this issue to collect funds and use them for their personal benefits and Christian university is still on papers only, In these circumstances its need of time to establish professional colleges and Christian university in Pakistan for future generation to face the demands of new millennium to play their role in the welfare of the general population of Pakistan. The nationalized schools entered under denationalization process and started handed over to churches by the government in 1980 in Sindh province when in 2001 the Punjab provincial government followed the denationalization of missionary schools. Now when these missionary schools are again in the hands of churches, it requires the revolutionary changes to grant admission to poor Christian students on priority basis in schools and colleges. New professional colleges and university may be founded that Christian students may reach in these new established professional colleges to compete on merit with Muslim majority in all walks of life. The establishment of private educational institutes is not bared by laws and is practiced by different Muslim communities in Pakistan. The Christians have also right time to step forward in establishments of Christian university unless it's too late again.
Its established fact that betters education and higher education than Muslim community is the only solution to the problems of Pakistani
Nazir S Bhatti.