TEACHING CRITICAL READERSHIP IS PART OF EDUCATION, BISHOP SAYS

Pakistan
1999-03-25 00:00:00

The chairman of the National Catholic Education Commission of Pakistan has urged educators to teach children critical reading skills to help them make better judgments as tomorrow´s leaders.

Educators must teach children to critically assess whatever they read so that they can judge for themselves what is true and what is false, Bishop Anthony Lobo of Islamabad-Rawalpindi said at the foundation-laying ceremony of a new library for 137-year-old St. Joseph´s Convent High School in Karachi.

The tendency is for people to accept the printed word as the truth without question, observed the bishop, former chairman of the Federation of Asian Bishops´ Conferences Office of Education and Student Chaplaincy.

If children are taught instead to look for the truth it will help promote good values and they will be able to make the world a better place, he said.

With the human race moving rapidly into the information age, Bishop Lobo said it is important to train children to do research in the library.

Information must be available on all aspects of a matter, and a library must have more than just books, he added. He suggested that the school library be made a resource center with the latest information aids.

The 5-million-rupee (about US$100,402) library that the Daughters of the Cross are having built is to be equipped by the school alumni association.

Daughters of the Cross Sister Zinia Pinto, chairperson of the Karachi archdiocesan Catholic Board of Education, said that with help from the alumni, students and parents, the library should be open by the year 2000. It will be equipped with modern audiovisual aids, Sister Pinto said.

The Daughters of the Cross nuns came in 1862 to Karachi, on the southern seacoast of what is now Pakistan, and started a school for the children of British soldiers at the request of the local ecclesiastical superior.

St. Joseph´s now has almost 2,000 pupils, 50 percent of whom are Christians.

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