ILF 2014: Alluring children to read

Writers suggest revamping curriculum.

Maha Mussadaq April 27, 2014
Writers suggest revamping curriculum. PHOTO: FILE


The quality of education in Pakistan, often analogous to the curriculum might not be the sole reason for poor reading habits. Although there has been an increase in the number, most children’s books do not have what it takes to attract readers.

At the session, “Children’s Literature is No Child’s Play,” moderated by Amra Alam, children’s writers, Saman Shamsie, Rumana Husain and Fauzia Minallah discussed ways to spark interest in books.

Stressing on the importance of supplementary reading, writers suggested creating reading space and public libraries to encourage children to read. Shamsie said that supplementary reading must be made a part of the curriculum.

Adding to that, Minallah said teachers in both public and private sector need training to make learning interactive for children. Writing for children requires sensitivity and skill to teach them a lesson they will not forget, she added. She stressed on the need to revamp the curriculum to expunge lessons which encourage extremist views and engender intolerance.

“Primary school curriculum must be revamped and interesting characters that teach social lessons must be encouraged.” An illustrator, Minallah writes books for children in English, Urdu and Pashto. “I don’t want to preach, I want to play with children through my characters.”

Alam concluded the session with the statement, “Children are what we make of them.”

Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2014.


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