A matter of pride: Speaking English is not cool, Adeel Hashmi

Published on – February 26, 2015 – 8:10 pm
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KARACHI : The 2nd Teacher’s Literature Festival (TLF) was successfully organized by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) and Oxford University Press (OUP) at the Arts Council of Pakistan in Karachi.


KARACHI : The 2nd Teacher’s Literature Festival (TLF) was successfully organized by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) and Oxford University Press (OUP) at the Arts Council of Pakistan in Karachi, in support of the ‘I am Karachi’ campaign.It is founded by Baela Raza Jamil of Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA).

For the second time in a row, the two day Children’s Literature Festival (CLF) was preceded by a daylong Teacher’s Literature Festival (TLF). The main aim of the TLF was not only to help the teachers identify and come up with solutions for the problems in the current education system of the country but also to promote reading literature for children, among teachers.

Hashmi laid clear his disappointment at the session, titled ‘Understanding Faiz in the classroom’. “Pakistan is a country where, if someone does wrong, it sets a precedent for others to follow,” he said, quoting a recent experience at a traffic signal where everyone broke the signal just because the first person did.

“We were fortunate to have gone to school at a time when Urdu was an important feature in our syllabus,” he smiled. Stressing the importance of literature in our culture, he asked the audience to understand that talking in English was not cool, albeit accepting your national language as a matter of pride was.

This year TLF set new precedents by organizing innovative and stimulating sessions: ‘Teachers as Agents of Peace’ and ‘Creating a Peaceable Classroom in Times of Conflict and Uncertainty’ gave teachers the opportunity to explore how they can include the message of peace in their teaching during these troubling times in the country. The art of creative writing and reading with expression was also brought to life with sessions like ‘How to Generate Creative Thinking’. The tradition of Teacher’s voice was also carried on this year to provide the teachers with a platform where they can share their experiences as well as have their voices heard.

TLF also hosted several book launches this year, including RumanaHussain’sTota Khan aurBakriArakaSafarnama; Tyranny of Language in Education by Zubaida Mustafa, Literary Heritage Series for Young Readers by FahmidaRiaz and many others. The 8th Edition of CLF’s publication, UranTashtaree, was also launched at the event.

Focus was also laid on introducing teachers to the newly emerging media and technology that can be used to revolutionize the experience of classrooms for students with the help organizations such as Toffee TV and 3iLogic. Ilm Ideas, Teach for Pakistan, Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) and several other organizations set up multi-sensory stalls to introduce teachers to methodologies which can be used to making teaching more interactive for children.

Several sessions on Awareness of Learning Difficulties, Inclusive Education, Teachers’ Katcheri, Mobilizing Living Heritage from Our Literature and workshops on copyrights awareness were also held making TLF a wholesome experience. It is expected that this year around 4000 teachers and 30,000 children will be attending the three days festival.

Published in Daily Balochistan Express, February 27 2015.