Workshops on Request
• An Active Learning Session at ITREB
On January 07, 2012, a four-hour session on an ‘Early Learning Environment’ was conducted for ITREB at one of their premises. Uzma Rauf and Mehnaz Amirali from TRC facilitated the workshop. This interactive workshop was designed to help 40 teachers and community volunteers set up a developmentally appropriate, active learning environment for young children who attend ITREB’s religious centres in the evenings.
Participants were introduced to the principles, characteristics, components and significance of an active learning environment for the early years. The participants actively engaged in discussions, exchanged views and raised questions about the ideas and concepts that were relatively new to them.
• School-Focused Workshops at Army Public School
Managing Behaviour: A nine-hour workshop on ‘Managing Behaviour’ was conducted at Army Public School, Malir Cantonment on 06 and 07 January 2012. The workshop was facilitated by TRC’s Rubina Naqvi and was attended by 30 pre-primary teachers and coordinators.
The workshop focused on causes of misbehaviour in children and strategies to manage the situations that arise from it. Interactive sessions and discussions helped teachers reflect on the discipline issues that they face when managing children. They were able to link theory to practice through examples of real life experiences and case studies provided to them. Individual queries about issues being faced by teachers in their present classrooms were also addressed as part of the workshop.
It was encouraging when some of the participants shared the positive change that they felt towards the children in their classroom after the first day of the training. The school management has expressed their keenness for a series of training sessions in the near future as part of a long-term relationship with TRC.
Managing Behaviour (Secondary): Another nine-hour workshop on ‘Managing Behaviour’ was conducted for Classes IV to VIII at the same school on 03 and 04 February 2012. This workshop was also successful in meeting its objectives and the school expressed interest in TRC carrying out a follow-up of the training to assist teachers in applying the strategies in classrooms.
Professionalism: A nine-hour workshop on ‘Professionalism’ was also conducted at Army Public School, Malir Cantonment on 10 February 2012. The workshop was facilitated by TRC’s Rubina Naqvi and was attended by 35 pre-primary/lower primary teachers and coordinators.
The workshop provided the participants with an opportunity to reflect on their working styles. They explored the difference between a job and a profession and highlighted the elements of a professional worker. Emphasis was placed on achieving the goals as highlighted in the school’s Mission Statement and owning the commitment given to the stakeholders.
Interactive group work helped participants to experience the dynamics of teamwork and present their findings to the whole group. They were able to link theory to practice through examples of real life experiences shared with them.
• Children’s Participation in VAW
We CAN-end all Violence Against Women (VAW), is a global campaign that aims to reduce the acceptance of violence in society, through attitudinal change. The campaign is currently running in 14 countries including Indonesia Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India, Uganda, Congo, Tanzania, Niger, Burundi, Kenya, Netherland and Canada. It was launched in Pakistan in 2006 as a national alliance-led initiative that aims to unite institutions, organisations and individuals across Pakistan with the common objective of creating a fundamental shift in the attitudes, beliefs and behaviour that perpetuate violence against women. Currently, the campaign is active in 32 districts in all four provinces. In Pakistan, Oxfam GB leads the campaign.
According to WHO (2010) most violence against women and children takes place in the form of intimate partner violence, family violence, or school violence. These three types of violence, which are interconnected, are commonly referred to as being part of a “cycle of violence,” in which victims become perpetrators. WE CAN in order to bring change in attitudes and behavior at a young age is expanding its interventions in school settings through working with teachers and children.
The Pakistan Coalition for Education (PCE) requested TRC’s help to develop a pool of lead teachers to support schools in rural Sindh, South Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to raise awareness about VAW through children’s participation.
Two, one-day workshops were conducted by Dr. Shabnam Ahmed of TRC. The first workshop was held in Karachi on January 24 2012 and the second on January 26 2012, in Multan. Eighteen teachers, school managers from public sector schools of Sindh and Balochistan and 22 teachers, head teachers and education officers from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwah participated in the workshops.
The key objectives of the workshop were to raise awareness among participants about VAW and issues around children’s participation in the campaign. A rights-based approach was used to help participants understand children’s role in preventing VAW. Interactive sessions and debates helped participants highlight the common and contextual issues related to children’s participation. The major barrier to children’s participation was identified as adults’ perception about children’s abilities. Traditional beliefs and practices that define specific roles for adults and children were also highlighted as an important factor. The participants also reflected on their own experiences of violence as children and discussed its impact.
Participants developed active educational tools that could be used to raise awareness among children and through them, in their communities. At the end of the daylong workshop, participants shared that they felt motivated to be able to help children and be an active member in bringing about change.
• Workshop for CFC Teachers
TRC conducted a 12 hour workshop titled “Tadrees ka Moassar Amal” for CFC (Concern for Children) teachers from March 12-15 2012. Nighat Hasan from TRC facilitated the workshop. It was a repeat workshop for CFC; the first workshop was organized for 23 teachers in 2010. This was the second batch of 20 teachers. These teachers too had no prior experience, so an initial training was run for them. The objective of the workshop was to equip them with the basic understanding of how children learn and the role of a positive learning environment on children’s self esteem and their ability to learn effectively.
• HSBC and TRC Distribute 150 PTBs
Last year TRC and HSBC signed a MoU to officially begin the Pehla Taleemi Basta (PTB) project. The project entailed the distribution of 150 PTBs to public sector primary schools across eight towns of Karachi: Kemari, Bin Qasim, Shah Faisal, Lyari, Landhi, Malir, Orangi and Baldia. The project included the training of 150 early years’ teachers on how to effectively use the PTB in their classrooms.
The Project finally took off … from March 20 – 22, 2012, the TRC Team conducted four, 05-hour workshops in clusters to include teachers from all eight towns. To begin with, the teachers were introduced to the importance of active learning in the early years and were taught how to plan meaningful learning experiences for children. Through hands-on experiential learning methods, they internalised the value of active learning. During the workshops teachers worked in groups, manipulated materials from the PTB and planned activities for math, science and language. The teachers found the PTB very interesting and useful and internalised that the materials in the PTB encourage children to experiment and understand difficult, abstract concepts.
• The Provincial Launch of ASER Pakistan-2011
The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) was launched on February 13, 2012. Tabinda Jabeen and Uzma Rauf represented TRC at the event.
The South Asian Forum for Educational Development (SAFED) in collaboration with the Foundation Open Society Institute (FOSI) had facilitated the survey for this report. The event started with the Director Programme of Idara-e-Taleem-o-Agahi (ITA), Baela Raza Jamil’s welcome remarks. She presented the highlights of ASER Pakistan and shared a documentary and some statistics on the status of education in Pakistan.
The panel discussion following the presentation was on finding a solution to the critical situation of literacy prevailing in Sindh. Professor Anita Ghulam Ali chaired the panel and invited the speakers to put forward their views on the data highlighted by ASER. Educationists, activists, government representatives (both provincial and federal) and members of civil society were among the speakers.
• National Stakeholder’s Conference on Scaling Up ECE
The Directorate of Staff Development (DSD), School Education Department, and Government of Punjab in collaboration with UNESCO and UNICEF organised a stakeholders’ conference to present a strategy on up scaling ECE in public sector schools in Punjab. On February 16, 2011, donors, educationists, teacher educators, teachers and representatives of different organisations such as CGN, Society, Children of Tomorrow and SAHI arrived to attend the event in Lahore. Tabinda Jabeen represented TRC at the conference.
In the welcome address, Secretary School Education, Aslam Khamboh emphasised the implementation of Article 25 A and stressed on the need for more trained teachers to strengthen ECE. He suggested that the government should reallocate resources and regulate schools.
Programme Director DSD, Nadeem Irshad Kayani talked about the importance of ECE. He said that 54.3% children drop out of school just as they reach grade 5 and also elaborated on the constraints that surround formulating an ECE policy, such as, private and public sector participation, lack of awareness, lack of specific data and financial constraints. An ECE advocacy documentary was screened for the participants.
A panel discussion and Q & A session on the importance of ECE, brain development, the current status of education in Punjab and the strategies to be used for scaling up ECE was also held. Pertinent issues were raised, such as, the training and assessment of a large number of teachers, learning resources for ECE, language of instruction and how to fill the gap between ECE and Class 1. During the discussion Arshad Saeed Khan of UNESCO highlighted TRC’s Pehla Taleemi Basta as a complete kit for teaching the National ECE Curriculum.
• READ Celebrates 25 years
The Remedial Education & Assessment of Dyslexics (READ) held a seminar on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at Oxford University Press. TRC’s Uzma Rauf and Tabinda Jabeen attended the event. To mark the 25 years, the keynote speaker Shad Moarif introduced the theme: “Against All Odds”.
Several speakers made presentations on bringing about change and students of READ shared success stories highlighting their journey and the challenges they faced along the way.
Scheduled in the programme were two workshops; “Ethics and Inclusive Education” by Anika Khan and “Turning Gold into Clay: The Future of Education in Pakistan” by Abbas Hussain. The seminar ended with a vote of thanks to the invitees.
• Pre-budget Policy Dialogue by I-SAPS
The Institute of Social and Policy Sciences (I-SAPS) in collaboration with Oxfam GB organised a policy dialogue on “Improving Public Financing of Education in Sindh: Pre-Budget Dialogue 2012”. The session was held on Monday, February 27, 2012. Amima Sayeed, Farzana Kausar, Tabinda Jabeen and Uzma Rauf represented TRC.
The session started with Dr. Salman Humayun, Executive Director, I-SAPS, presenting his analysis of the Provincial Education Budget Sindh 2011-12. Following this presentation Ahmad Ali, a research fellow at I-SAPS shared some challenges and opportunities for education at the provincial tier in light of the 18th constitutional amendment.
The floor was then opened to two representatives from the Government of Sindh, who addressed some of the points raised in the preceding presentations.
• PCTV Organises Provincial Seminar
Pakistan Children’s Television (PCTV), a project of USAID and the Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop (RPTW), organized a provincial seminar in Karachi on February 28, 2012. The Sim Sim Hamara Programme for children developed by RPTV has been launched and 11 episodes have been aired so far. The seminar was organised to share the success of the programme and to solicit feedback on how to improve it for Season 2.
A small group of participants from diverse backgrounds were invited to provide critical feedback following video presentations and group work. TRC has been part of the Technical Advisory Committee from the outset; this time Mahenaz Mahmud represented TRC.
• TAKE Conference
Trust for Advancement of Knowledge and Education (TAKE) organised a three-day conference from 06 – 08 March 2012, for professional educators. Rubina Naqvi from TRC attended the conference.
The focus of the conference was on ‘School Development Through Interaction’. One-hour workshop sessions were conducted on areas of communication in schools, such as, interaction with parents, student voice and leadership and feedback on assessments for learning, by Dr. Raphael Wilkins and Dr. Eleanor Hargreaves from the Institute of Education, University of London, UK. Professionals from local schools made presentations on Multiple Intelligences, Formative Assessments and Learning Spaces.
The conference served an opportunity to network with educationists from most of the leading schools of Karachi and share views on important issues prevalent in schools today.
TRC Invited to School Events
• Design For Change Exhibition
TRC was invited to attend an exhibition of the projects undertaken by schools as part of the Design for Change, an initiative that involved schools from all over Pakistan. Mahenaz Mahmud and Rubina Naqvi represented TRC at this occasion.
All the prize-winning entries were displayed through videos and posters. It was heartening and inspiring to see the efforts of the participating students; their awareness of community work was remarkable.
• Maths Contest at Reflections School
An Inter-school Maths Smart Contest was held at Reflections on 25 January 2012. Rubina Naqvi from TRC was invited as a judge for the contest.
It was gratifying to see young students solving mental math questions within the stipulated time. The problems were put to the participants with the help of multi-media. The contest was well organised and took place in a pleasant environment. It ended with an award ceremony, where the winners were given shields and all those who participated were encouraged and appreciated with certificates.
• Sports Day Fatimiyah Girls’ School and College
Rubina Naqvi attended the first Annual Sports Day organised by Fatimiyah Girls’ School and College, held at the National Coaching Centre on 28 February 2012.
It was a colourful and well-organised event, where students displayed great enthusiasm for sports. A large number of parents and other guests attended.
• Elocution Contest at Education Bay School
An Inter-school Elocution Contest for O level students was held at Education Bay School on 29 February 2012. Rubina Naqvi from TRC was invited as one of the judges for the contest.
Various schools entered their senior students in the contest. It was very refreshing to listen to the oratory presented by the contestants. The pieces chosen by each school for the contest were by well-known poets and writers and a pleasure to listen to.
The contest was well organised and took place in a friendly environment. The event ended with an award ceremony in which the winners were awarded shields and all participants were given certificates.
• Annual Event at Education Bay School
Rubina Naqvi represented TRC at the Education Bay School, on March 17 2012. Students from various classes presented skits and songs based on the theme of ‘Peace’ in colourful costumes and stage settings.
The stage programme was followed by a display of projects undertaken by the students. Ancient civilisations were depicted through illustrations and craftwork. The children seemed well informed as they briefed visitors about their work. Parents attended in full strength and displayed keen interest in the students’ efforts.