Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, and Khyber-PakhtunkhwaLahore, Quetta, Peshawar, Bahawlpur, Karachi, Islamabad, and SwatPeri-Urban
The 2011 Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) revealed that a significant number of Pakistani children cannot read or write in Urdu at the appropriate grade level. In addition, the Pakistani curriculum often encourages rote learning rather than critical and creative thinking. Inspired by these results and observations, the Children’s Literature Festival (CLF) emerged. The first was held in Lahore, Pakistan in 2011 and since then, eight more events have been organized across the country. Created by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA), Oxford University Press (OUP), and the Foundation Open Society Institute (FOSI), CLF aims to be an “equalizer” in education by inviting all Pakistani children, irrespective of socioeconomic background or geographic location, to participate. It seeks to engage not only students, but also community members such as teachers and parents in order to promote a culture of reading in addition to improving literacy and learning outcomes throughout the nation.
CLF is a free, two-day festival that occurs multiple times a year in various cities in Pakistan. Attendees are encouraged to participate in a wide variety of activities ranging from poetry readings and book discussions to book making and writing competitions. Younger children are especially encouraged to participate in reading workshops while older children attend sessions that emphasize writing and critical thinking skills. Some activities aim to unlock students’ creative potential such as creative writing workshops and mural painting. Other opportunities focus on refining both students’ and teachers’ abilities to read and write in local languages. The CLF model seeks to be innovative, iterative, and demand-based. Its central objective is to provide an interactive and inclusive environment where communities can learn to appreciate the power and pleasure of reading.
To attract students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, CLF reaches out to schools directly. In the future, it seeks to work within schools, offering them tools and training methods that the Festival currently implements. These efforts are supplemented by CLF’s bi-monthly magazine “Uran Tashtaree” which is created for children and includes articles and stories written by both children and professionals. Together, “Uran Tashtaree” (Flying Saucer) and the Children’s Literature Festival hope to popularize the culture of reading and reduce illiteracy among Pakistani children and youth.
Click here to see full program profile
CLF collaborates with the government of Pakistan to attract students to its events. For example, CLF relies on the Ministry of Education to reach out to public schools that it cannot access on its own. It may request that the government ask schools to grant students days off from school so that they are able to attend the Festival. Furthermore, CLF partners with organizations that already work in schools serving underpriviledged children which generates awareness among poorer populations.
Since the first CLF in 2011, eight additional festivals have been organized in various cities across Pakistan.
Since the first CLF held in Lahore in 2011, eight additional festivals have been organized across Pakistan. Between November 2011and December 2013, the following festivals have taken place:
- 1 at the national level
- 5 at the provincial level
- 1 at the district level
- 2 at the school level
While CLF is currently a social movement, in the future it aims to supplement its annual festivals by working directly with schools and providing them with resources and methodologies that they can utilize daily. Additionally, in 2014 CLF will hold its first Teacher's Literature Festival in Karachi to improve teachers' literacy and instruction methods. CLF also hopes to conduct more research on the impact of the Festival on learning outcomes in Pakistan.
Monitoring & Evaluation
Research on the impact of CLF on learning outcomes just started. The principal methods utilized are conducting interviews with teachers and students and observing how teachers and students involve themselves in CLF activities. These studies are conducted internally by the CLF team.
Learning outcomes, Student and teacher engagementNo
Foundation Open Society Institute (FOSI)Other government and corporate organizationsPakistani Rupee
Profile creation detailsYesMonday, June 9, 2014 - 2:59pm