Pakistan Learning Festival

Gain aur Seekhain

Gain Aur Seekhain

Communities of Practice (COP) innovation with Research for Improvement in Systems of Education (RISE) Oxford University

Reclaiming Music for Social Emotional & Foundational Learning through Poems & Songs in mainstream education

Through an innovative project, a pilot in collaboration with RISE* and the Pakistan Learning Festival (PLF), ITA’s  flagship program is engaging in a unique experiment on Foundational Learning. We are committed to Foundational, Social Emotional & Holistic Learning through partnerships with the  Government and the School and Literacy Departments  (Sindh/Punjab) where Schools seek to:

-Revive poems/songs for Learning with Agency  in Pakistan together with musicians/poets/educators & choirs

-Promote foundational learning actively through music, poetry, vocabularies/literacies, performing arts,  maker art and craft as a valued/unique learning genre that is cross-disciplinary

-Select songs thematically and by grades and then align the selected songs with the National Curriculum of Pakistan (NCP), standards/student learning outcomes (SLOs) by subjects (to be refined as NCP is also under review)

– Create appropriate activities/worksheets and other interactive segments  for the selected songs

-Design and conduct systematic pilot collaborative activities across selected schools govt/private schools (4), in both Lahore and Karachi (initially/ could with other willing schools in other geographies)

-Disseminate the outcomes during Learning Festivals, collaborating Schools & classrooms with evaluation forms

-Add the outputs/activities/songs on the PLF app (Gain aur Seekein/Learning through Harmonies) for wider dissemination to the entire country with feedback loops 


*Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) is an international research programme investigating how education systems can overcome the Learning  Crisis. RISE works  with & fosters Communities of Practice (COP);  ITA received a COP Award in 2022 (June)


If children are exposed to pedagogies embedded in Holistic & Social Emotional  Learning (SEL) there is improved cognitive resonance, understanding and practice of Foundational Learning to support lifelong sustainable learning.

Happy children learn better – happy teachers teach better

Learning through Harmonies is part of the mainstream curriculum and pedagogies- Links  to the proto experiment by PLF in 2021 of a Sohail Rana song

“Daak  Babu”  Pilot  conducted  during the Pakistan Learning Festival Karachi:

Key Attributes Considered in the Pilot : Holistic Learning & Foundational Learning

Holistic Learning

An approach that seeks to fully activate all aspects of the learner’s personality (intellect, emotions, imagination, body) for more effective and comprehensive learning.

Atributes of Holistic Learning

  1. Experiential; Personalized
  2. Both Teacher-guided and Self-guided
  3. Considers the Community: Includes SEL;
  4. Culturally Sensitive: Strengthens Relationships
  5. Inter-disciplinary;
  6. Focused on Formative Assessments
  7. Strength Based; Reverent of The World (Gratitude); Play based
  8. Equal Parts Indoors and Outdoors
  9. Safe; Resource-Based Education

Foundational Learning

Foundational learning refers to the foundations of a child’s education. It includes basic literacy, numeracy, and transferable skills (soft), that are the building blocks for a life of learning.

Examples of transferable skills

  1.  Dependability
  2. Leadership and team management
  3. Problem-solving
  4. Data analysis
  5. Communication
  6. Time management
  7. Empathy
  8. Adaptability

Social Emotional Learning: a Critical Factor in Improved Foundational & LifeLong Learning

SEL is focused on five core social and emotional competencies. These are linked and inter-related; they include:

  1. SELF-AWARENESS: Recognizing one’s emotions, values, strengths and challenges, and how they influence behavior
  2. SELF-MANAGEMENT: Managing emotions, thoughts and behavior, and achieving goals and aspirations, which can include the ability to persevere in the face of challenges
  3. SOCIAL AWARENESS: Showing understanding & empathy for others
  4. RESPONSIBLE DECISION MAKING: Making caring and constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions
  5. RELATIONSHIP SKILLS: Establishing and maintaining healthy and supportive relationships


By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development


World’s Largest Lesson for SDG 4 :

Phases of Activity

Phase 1

Selection of  the songs according to themes and seeking permission/copyrights from all concerned for the selected 12-15 songs, mapped to foundational literacy and rich  in language at the right level, together with linguistic appreciation, geographical  diversity, tolerance, heritage, packed with meaning-making.

The selected songs are designed around the learning content with clearly described activities and implemented in 2 schools each (ideally govt. and private) in Sanjan Nagar  Lahore and St Joseph’s Convent in Karachi.

The Sindh Education & Literacy Department (SELD) has expressed its desire to be associated with the pilot as it has announced its Policy for Music & Arts in schools as elective subjects. A meeting was held at the Arts Council with the Chief Adviser Curriculum /Additional Secretary Education at SELD in chair along with members from its affiliate bodies: viz. Directorate of Curriculum & Research (DCAR) and STEDA (Sindh Teachers Education Development Authority )

Phase 2

Sharing the songs/activities/aligned to NCP as enriched learning to be uploaded on the PLF App and as a digital resource for all PLF /ITA and Govt. School Network outlets. It has been incorporated in the PLFs in Aliabad/Hunza on 19th October and Karachi TLF on 15th November 2022 and will be done in other upcoming learning festivals in Multan, Lahore. For each song thus rendered there would be a  pre and post-evaluation form to assess its learning value and potential for scaling up.

Selected Songs Lyrics by Composed by Sung by Aligned to curriculum /Subject –Grade Theme
Gain aur Seekhein New Song
Zehra Nigah (IP)
Ali Hamza
ITA Team
Hamein Kitab Chaihey
Zehra Nigah
Rakae Jamil
ITA Team
Chalo Parho Barho
Rakae Jamil
ITA Team
Foundational Learn
Do Sitaray
Allama Iqbal
Rakae Jamil
ITA Team
Ismail Merathi
Ali Hamza /Zehra Nigah
ITA Team/Sanjan Nagar
Thela Song
Rumana Husain
St Joseph’s Convent
St Joseph’s Convent
Climate Change
Song in Sindhi Language
St Joseph’s Convent
St Joseph’s Convent
St Joseph’s Convent
Foundational L
Aao Hamaray Saath Chalo
Zehra Nigah
Ali Hamza and Choir/KDSP
ITA Team
A R Rehman
Bandar Road
Mehdi Zaheer
Ahmed Rushdi
Sar buland
Irfan Ahmed Urfi/Asian Development Bank
Irfan Ahmed Urfi/Asian Development Bank
ITA Team
Inclusion/Human Rights
Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Rakae Jamil/Sanjan Nagar
Sanjan Nagar
Human Rights/Inclusion

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