To bring militancy-hit Swat valley back towards education, renowned Pashto poets reflected the idea through their poems in a grand ‘Taleemi Mushaira’ held on Saturday.
The one of its kind activity was organised by Alif Ailaan, a national campaign for education. A large number of parents, teachers, civil society members and education officials attended the session to listen to verses depicting the importance of education and the unprecedented loss caused by recent militancy in Swat.
Renowned Pashto poets and scholars Abdul Rahim Roghaney, Iqbal Shakir, Hanif Qais, Usman Ulas Yar, Zafar Ali Naz, Attaullah Jan, Shamsul Iqbal Shams, Attaur Rehman Atta, Nawaz Yousafzai, Neelam Bano and Fayaz Zafar along with the officials from the education department participated in the event.
“[Poets] in history have played a vital role in bringing revolutions in the world,” said Dr Jawad Iqbal, chairperson of the Innovative Youth Forum and representative of Alif Ailaan.
Iqbal lamented Pakistan was one of the unfortunate countries where the ratio of out-of-school children is significantly high, while only a minimum amount is set aside for education in every annual budget.
The speakers stressed it was high time to provide the best education to children and to bring dedicated teachers to resolve the education emergency in the country.
Participants applauded the event, terming it a positive step towards the uplift of education in the war-torn Swat valley. “Improving the country’s education system is not just the state’s responsibility, it needs collective effort, hard work and determination from all walks of life,” said Zarif Ali, a civil society member, while talking to The Express Tribune.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 3rd, 2013.