High-profile ministers and politicians from Balochistan participated in a storytelling workshop under the School Reading Program 2016 – a project of Children’s Literature Festival and Alif Ailaan, in Quetta on Tuesday afternoon.
Member, Board of Directors of Children’s Literature Festival Zobaida Jalal welcomed the participants and acknowledged the efforts of Balochistan government in improving enrolment and quality of education in the province, while stating that with cooperative efforts of all government stakeholders, education quality can significantly get better, and noted that there is a huge quest for knowledge in the public of Balochistan.
She also briefed the audience on poor learning levels of primary students in the country. According to Annual Status of Education Report 2015, on a national level, 49% of Class 5 students could not read sentences in English, 50% could not do simple 2-digit division, and 55% could not read stories in Urdu, all meant for Class 2. While a provincial comparison of learning levels showed that Balochistan ranked the lowest in category of ‘Class 5 students who can read a story in Urdu’ and second-lowest in ‘Class 5 students who can read sentences in English’ and ‘Class 5 students who can do two-digit math.’
Among the participants were Senator Mir Kabeer Ahmed Muhammad Shahi, MPA Sardar Raza Barrech, MPA MPA Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, former interim Chief Minister Nawab Ghous Bux Barozai, MPA Yasmeen Lehri, MPA Mir Amanullah Notezai, MPA Prince Ahmed Ali Ahmedzai, Ishaque Baloch, Senior VP Balochistan of PMLN Malik Ibrar, and JUI-F leader Hafiz Hussain.
Renowned anchor and TV personality Fereeha Idrees led the storytelling session with the politicians. Noting the importance of storytelling in piquing a child’s interest to know and learn more, she read the story ‘Jaisi Karni Waisi Bharni’ and encouraged the parliamentarians to narrate stories of their own based on a similar theme, and re-enact scenes from several other stories to show how they would be conducting their storytelling sessions with children in schools in upcoming days and weeks.
At the end of the workshop, several members of Provincial Assembly pledged to visit government schools to hold storytelling sessions with children and play their role in improving learning levels in Balochistan.
School Reading Program 2016 – News & Media – 2nd Quetta workshop