The sixth storytelling workshop for politicians under School Reading Program 2016 was held in Lahore on March 31 st , 2016. The objectives of the workshop were to brief politicians, local government epresentatives and education managers on poor learning outcomes, and to deliver a training session on the art of storytelling to facilitate them for a storytelling session with primary students in government schools. The workshop was attended by PMLN MPAs namely Shoaib Awaisi, Sardar Khalid Waran, Pirzada Mian Shahzad Maqbool Bhutta, Hammad Nawaz Khan, Naeem Akhtar Khan Bhabha and PTI MPA Dr Nausheen Hamid.
The workshop began with an introductory note by CLF Program Manager Momina Khawar. She gave a presentation on SRP2016, stressing the importance of the interactions among students, teachers and politicians through engaging reading sessions to help each audience better understand what they could do in their capacities to improve quality of education.
Trainer for the workshop Imran Sarwar (CEO Rabtt) briefly talked about his past experience in mentoring children to enhance their creativity and confidence, and the ways in which he interacts with young audiences to captivate their attention. He read the story “Aik Thi Laali Aur Aik Tha Kawa’ with the participants, and facilitated them with voice modulation techniques to imitate sounds of birds and crows wherever needed in the story. PTI MPA Dr Nausheen Hamid took several turns in reading different parts of the story.
PMLN MPA Shoaib Awaisi talked about Punjab Education Foundation’s efforts to improve the standard of education in Punjab, especially in South Punjab where he said standards have risen.
PMLN MPA Sardar Khalid Waran spoke in great detail about our education system currently being geared towards creating money-making machines out of children instead of letting them to enjoy their childhood and allowing them to choose career paths according to their inclinations. He also discussed the level of quality teachers possessed back in the day and the role they played as mentors-cum- teachers in a way that enabled their students to get ahead of them by giving them real knowledge that didn’t require rote-learning. Through these workshops and school visits, he hoped we would be able to send this message across.
PMLN MPA Naeem Akhtar Khan Bhabha also gave a reference to Punjab Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif’s instructions to provincial legislators and government officials from South Punjab to visit schools as lecturers for a day for the same purpose as SRP2016. As a connection to that, all the MPAs promised to visit schools in their constituencies to read stories and deliver lectures to students.