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November 21, 2018

Special measures stressed to address out-of-school children issue


November 21, 2018

Islamabad: It was an exciting and joyful day for the children of National Child Protection Centre (NCPC) as they participated in a drawing competition themed ‘dosti’ and drama performance to commemorate Universal Children Day on Tuesday.

Their main classroom was decorated with colourful balloons and crepe paper decorations with their parents sitting at the end to encourage their children. The room echoed with the cheerful voices of children when papers and colours were distributed among them for the competition. The outcome was amazing. Concepts depicted in their drawings were way beyond their educational background.

“I would like to become doctor when I grow up,” said Zohra Ameer, while drawing two children holding their hands in a colourful surrounding. Aftab, another child, said that he wants to become a pilot but little Alishba wanted to be a madam like the ones who were guests at the event.

The best part was the time when chief guest, Ministry of Human Rights Secretary Rabiya Javeri Agha mingled up with them appreciating their work and had photographs with them. “This centre is a humble contribution in mainstreaming the out of the school children in the capital. There are 22 million out of the school children in the country. Special efforts are required, specifically the provincial level, to adopt substantial measure for addressing the issue,” said Rabiya while talking to ‘The News’. She said that an improved facility would be developed under the new ICT Child Protection Act.

“They are all brilliant and bright, much more than children of same age groups in posh schools and have the urge to make a difference in their lives. All they need are the basic facilities to channelize their talent,” said Noreen Naz, a teacher of International Foundation for Education, Empowerment and Learning who volunteers to teach in the Centre.

Located in a small place but serving a big cause of protecting children in distress, NCPC is run by Ministry of Human Rights since 2006 and provides protection services to vulnerable and at risk children. Its functions mainly include reunification, shelter service for rehabilitation and reintegration, psychological counselling and referral services to abused and exploited children, awareness raising on child rights and provision of social, legal, medical and other assistance including bridge gap educational facility for children in distress.

“Currently, around 50 children from slums of Islamabad are registered with NCPC for non-formal education. They are provided with pick and drop for their localities, food, books and uniforms,” said Director NCPC Yousaf Shah in his introductory remarks. He thanked Minister of Human Rights Shirin Mazari for suggesting the theme of the competition.

The speakers urged parents to protect their children from any kind abuse and educate their children as they are the future of their families, communities and the country. Children were introduced with the history of Universal Children Day which is celebrated around the world on November 20. Theme for this year is “Children are taking over and turning the world blue.” At the end, gifts and Happy Meal was distributed among the children.

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