By Farhan Khan
Karachi 26th February 2015: The 2nd Teacher’s Literature Festival (TLF) was successfully organized on February, 26th, 2015 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’ drive. It was 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, but also to promote reading literature for children, among teachers.
Notable personalities from the fields of academia and literary world, including Haseena Moin, Rumana Hussain, Amra Alam, Zubeida Mustafa, Fahmida Riaz, Adeel Hashmi, Syed Nusrat Ali and many others actively participated in TLF, as contributors and moderators. The treasures to take back from the session conducted by these personalities were not only their opinions, but also their experiences.
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 Rumana Hussain’s “Tota Khan aur Bakri Ara ka Safarnama”; Tyranny of Language in Education by Zubaida Mustafa, Literary Heritage Series for Young Readers by Fahmida Riaz and many others. The 8th Edition of CLF’s publication, Urran Tashtaree, was also launched at the event.
Focus was also laid on introducing teachers to the newly emerging media and technology to 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.