Children's Literature Festival (CLF)

The Children’s Literature Festival (CLF) seeks to improve literacy and foster a culture of reading and critical thinking in Pakistan. The event provides children ages 4-17 with a number of interactive opportunities to refine reading and writing skills, such as workshops, book fairs, and discussions led by renowned authors and educators.

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting
Student supportIdara-e-Taleem-o-Agahi (ITA)Oxford University Press (OUP)PrimaryLower secondaryUpper secondary

Location Data

Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, and Khyber-PakhtunkhwaLahore, Quetta, Peshawar, Bahawlpur, Karachi, Islamabad, and SwatPeri-Urban, Rural, 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.

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