In some European countries such as Malta, young people who decide to move on to post-secondary education are given a stipend, however this is not the case for young people in Pakistan. It is important to highlight that not all children in Pakistan have access to primary or secondary education as there aren’t enough schools for all children. It is calculated that 30% of children do not attend any type of school. Therefore, many children attend private schools; and there is a high demand for church schools. This means that many parents must pay for their children’s education at all levels.
The school fees for High School are quite high and make it near impossible for the parents to afford them: the average salary of a factory worker is about €65 a month. From this amount all the bills need to be paid, for example the home rent is about €32 a month. The school fees in a private college may cost around €260 every semester, and sometimes even higher. I think that an average family’s financial situation is self-explanatory. One needs to keep in mind that in Pakistan the prices of flour, oil and vegetables have tripled in price in recent months; I will not even mention the price of meat.
Keeping this scenario in mind, we as MSSP in Pakistan, have started a project through which we help young boys and girls of our parish to be able to finance their college fees. As I mentioned earlier, places in public colleges are very limited, and these are not free of charge. Students must pay for tuition in public colleges too. We are also helping students who attend university.
Among the students we are helping, there is one student who is married with three children. He is reading for a PhD in Zoology. Besides the tuition fees, his studies require the purchasing of specialised equipment.
The number of students asking us for financial assistance for them to be able to continue their studies is always on the increase. We can assist these students through the generosity of our benefactors as this in the ONLY means of income that we have for such projects.