A two-day literature festival to promote creativity and reading habit among children attracted a large number of students at the Islamia College University on Wednesday.
Some 8,000 students and teachers from public and private institutions across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) participated. Different stalls of books, paintings, cartoons and local dresses were set up by students.
The festival was organised by the Bacha Khan Trust Education Foundation in collaboration with Idara Taleem-o-Aagahi, Oxford University Press (OUP) and the Foundation Open Society Institutes, Pakistan.
Managing Director of Bacha Khan Trust Education Foundation Khadim Hussain said that the programme will continue till Thursday 5pm. There are reading and writing competitions and cartoon presentations, as well as sessions on local languages, he said.
For educators, these festivals are designed so that books and reading materials can be used to trigger the child’s imagination, he said. Teachers training sessions are also held to educate teachers about creative teaching methods, including the use of libraries and techniques such as story-telling.
Manmara, a fifth grade student of the Government Girl’s School Landi Kotal, said it was the first time she had attended such an event and was enjoying participating in different contests.
Jawariya, 7, and her mother Kalsum, also attended the festival and enjoyed the games and music. Kalsum, a teacher at a girl’s school in Swat, said that around 600,000 girls do not go to school in Swat since the valley was gripped with militancy.
Such festivals and activities can encourage students to pursue education, she added.
Event organisers and guests
This is the third festival of its kind, said Baela Raza, the founder of Children Literature Festival and programme director of Idara-e- Taleeem-o- Aagahi.
The first festival was arranged in Lahore and the second was in Quetta.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th, 2012.