In 2011, the Sisters of Loretto took on the responsibility of running St. Albert High School, in Chak 7, in Faisalabad. St. Albert was originally founded in 1983, with 40 students and one teacher.
In 2010, the year before the Sisters of Loretto assumed responsibility for the school, the government of Pakistan declared that all the educational institutions should use English. Given this change, the sisters have placed a strong focus on educating the teachers and helping them prepare their lessons in English, as the teachers had been using Urdu as the language of instruction. Sisters Maria, Samina and Nasreen also offer them teacher training, including instruction in such skills and methods as lesson planning, diary writing, classroom management skills, and a variety of education techniques.
The neighborhood in which the school is located, Chak 7, is situated in a suburb of Faisalabad. Many of the residents of Chak 7 had been nomads in the past, but have now settled near the school. During breaks in the school year, the sisters visit the neighborhood and encourage people to send their children to school. The people appreciate that the sisters come visit them, sit with them and talk to them. In April 2011, the number of the children at the school was 250; as of a year later, nearly 400 students are enrolled at the school, from pre-school age through tenth grade.
Parent-teacher meetings have recently been instituted, and if the parents are unable to come to the school to meet, the sisters visit them at home in order to encourage and emphasize the importance of parental support in a child’s education.
Students come from both Muslim and Christian backgrounds. Until grade four, students attend either Christian or Muslim religion classes, depending on which faith they practice. In grade five and up, all students study Islam, with the Christian students taking additional Christian religion classes. Some students are the first in their family to receive any kind of education, and more than one has expressed interest in being a Sister of Loretto in the future.
In addition to studying the standard academic subjects, St. Albert students also receive instructions in basic social and professional etiquette. A strong emphasis is placed on proper hygiene and condition of their bodies and attire, as well as the importance of being on time and reliable. Students are instructed and supported in their development of these skills during their time at St. Albert so as to be better prepared to find employment in the future.
We are thankful to the many donors who are advancing our Loretto work in Pakistan.
Need-based Scholarships: $6,500
13 Teachers: $8,580 annually / $715 per month
Watchman: $625 annually / $52.08 per month
Janitor: $313 annually / $26.08 per month
Teacher Training: $2,100
Computers: 10 at $833 each
For more information on the Pakistan Mission, please contact Sister Lydia Peña SL at (303) 783-0450 x1725.