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October 24, 2019

Children’s Literature Festival kicks off at Lok Virsa


October 24, 2019

Islamabad : Excitement was writ on the faces of hundreds of children as they enjoyed every bit of Children's Literature Festival inaugurated at Lok Virsa on Wednesday.

Book stalls, interactive and lively talks around books, puppet shows, theater, poetry and book launches featured the grand activity that attracted a large crowd of children who actively participated in all activities aimed at introducing them to the world of literature around them. The two-day event was a joint collaboration of Oxford University Press, Open Society Foundation, Oxfam, British Council, Ittehad Steel, Female Education Trust, Sightsavers and Millennium Education.

Eminent writers, poets, activists, singers and story writers such as Kishwar Naheed, Tahira Abdullah, Nigar Nazar, Khalid Anum, Rakhshanda Parveen, Sarwat Muhiuddin and many more star names got together to interact and involve children into these discussions. “We are having such a wonderful time. There shall be more such activities for children,” said Alishba Khan, a child participant.

There was so much to do for the children. Documentaries and short films were screened for children in Cinema Ghar, they had open Mic session to speak their hearts out, there was a workshop encourage creative writing among children and there was much more including book reviews, Daastan Goi, music therapy, Fountain Area, Bachun kay Haqooq ka Ghehwara, food court etc.

Issues, as complicated as climate change, were communicated to children in a friendly and fun way. Nigar Nazar and her famous character Gogi used sketching as a tool to make children realize that their small action can make a big difference. Nigar, through her cartoon making skills, showed children the possible feelings of planet earth when there are actions that damage the climate. She also talked about the movement against climate change led by a Greta and said that if only one girl can make such big difference, hundreds of children present in the hall can change the world for better future.

Famous singer and actor Khalid Anum sang poems for children and urged parents and teachers to encourage book reading among children. He was joined by Sarwat Muhiuddin, Syed Nusrat Ali and Atif Badar in a poetry session. He introduced children to the books of Pakistani writers in the market. He said that children are getting away from books because elders have stopped reading.

Speaking at the inaugural session, Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood said that the Children’s Literature Festival has reminded him of his childhood. He said that it is the government’s priority to formulate uniform curriculum while keeping in view the best curriculum in the world and implement that curriculum across the country.

He said that uniform curriculum for primary education would be prepared by March 2020 which will be implemented after consultation with relevant stakeholders. He said that uniform curriculum is under formulation with the consultation of education experts, religious scholars, and civil society. “The standard of this curriculum would not be less than the curriculum in any developed country.”

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