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Covid-19 and Education in Pakistan

Posted on October 1, 2021, by Loretto Community

By Nasreen Daniel

Nasreen Daniel teaches the sisters’ class by zoom.
Photo By Maria Daniel

Education as a path out of poverty has been the belief of the Sisters of Loretto since inception. Wherever the sisters are present, they impart formal or nonformal education in their vicinity.

As the spread of COVID-19 has played havoc around the globe, the mission of imparting education has suffered significantly. In the slums of Lahore, Pakistan, where the parents are already reluctant to send their kids to school, they are just giving up the idea of education for their children.

It is difficult for us to visit the families in the face of the corona virus. When the parents come to school to take the homework we have prepared for them, we inquire about the ones who are not coming to pick up the homework. If parents say it is difficult for them to come to school to pick up the homework, we contact the church catechist to collect the notebooks with homework and they deliver the notebooks for us. We have heard that some children have started working to help their families put some food on their plates. Sadly, this virus has put our efforts back years. The government stresses online classes, but what about those who have no internet, no computers and no smart phones? In the reality of our area, we can only write out the lessons in the students’ notebooks which are distributed on Monday and returned to us on Friday. From Friday to Sunday, we write the homework for each child so that it is ready for Monday pickup.

As for the junior sisters’ class, it is going on online. [These are sisters from other congregations; Nasreen is their teacher.] It is fun to get up from my room and move to the place where the projector is placed and start teaching. The only problem is the discussion. The class is not as active as it was in person. Often the internet seems to disagree with our discussion and inhibits us by not being available; but to see each other on Zoom gives joy and the possibility to learn.


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