SALT and the Institute of Basic Adult Development and Training
Pakistan’s illiteracy rate is among the highest in the world. The Pakistani Government puts the figure at 34%, but the illiteracy rate among Christians is even higher. Due to the lack of education or technical skills they are unable to obtain gainful employment. The IBADAT programme was established in 1989 to meet the need of these illiterate Christians, the great majority of whom live in slums and are employed in menial jobs, such as scavengers, labor etc. earning barely enough to meet the most basic needs. By providing literacy and vocational skills, IBADAT aims to equip these less-privileged members with the means not only to improve their socio-economic condition, but also to enable them to read the Bible for themselves and learn more of their faith value in the sight of God.
IBADAT conducts Teacher Training Courses for Literacy Teachers every year, many of whom find employment with IBADAT. Several graduates from the Literacy courses also join these training courses and in turn start own centers in their neighborhood.
Literacy courses are run every year for about six months each at all IBADAT centers (approximately 250 currently) throughout the country. These courses, specially designed by Christian educationists, enable the students to read and write Urdu. By the end of the course students are able to read simple large letter booklets and the special New Testament prepared for Adult Literacy students. At the end of course a final assessment is made of the students’ progress, materials used, teachers and supervisors’ performances, so that the programme is being constantly revised and improved. For the continuation of this project a “Project Strategy” was made.Public Health education, taught alongside the literacy course, provides much needed teaching in hygiene, preventive health precautions, immunization etc.
A Vocational Training Programme for men and women has also been introduced for providing skills to poor Christians who are illiterate and without employment skills. These include: