Mian Shabaz Sharif’s presence at the inaugural of the Children’s Literature Festival 2011 was profound in its message to the children and educators sharing his commitment to education, learning and equity as key priorities of his government. The Chief Minister’s session set the tone for the festival that proved to be an extra ordinary and memorable success! Promoting a reading culture and love of books was the central message which the CM underscored so effortlessly and softly. The CM’s address to 3000 children, teachers and authors present won the hearts and minds of many as was a story narrated with impeccable sensitivity. Children and youth are the most valuable constituency to be cultivated for a healthy Pakistan. The CLF 2011 was a historic event, a pioneer festival of its kind in Pakistan. Punjab hosted this for the first time in the country as a national event. All 20,000 who came (4 times our expected number!), entered happy and left happiest with an unforgettable experience! Read more
Dr. Merilyn Wyatt
25th November 2011 was a day of celebration for the students of ACCESS centres in Lahore to enjoy the Children’s Literature Festival. Though it was a children’s festival but the adults were as enthusiastic as the kids. Reading, a most neglected area in both urban and rural areas, was celebrated with full vigor and interest. It was missing but always cherished wholeheartedly. The day of magic with smiling sunshine opened with the Chief Minister of Punjab’s address sharing his favorite story of a monkey man in his child hood (reham dil madari). Dr. Marlilyn Wyatt as a special guest to the inauguration and the children’s literature festival urged the significance of such events for progress and solidarity of our nation. Read More
Dear Baela and Ameena,
It is two weeks that I left Lahore for Delhi.I continue to be in a trance.It was like magic,a dream I do not want ending.I am still dreaming with eyes open and shut.
I visited Lahore after twelve years and felt much water had flown under the bridges. Gleaming eyes and happy faces of children and young parents,endless ques at the gate and the festival of books inside.It wasa treat to watch young scholars vying to get to books, pamphlets, anything worth reading, listening, watching.The child in me took me to the puppet show, to the theatre,to story reading and video viewing and listening to students tearing textbooks to pieces,watching their unabshed enjoyable extempore presentations from the main stage parallel to the technical sesions by experts( Adults!)- the segment i had to miss( most of it!). I simply wanted to be whereever children were ,sharing the exciting moments they were experiencing.What struck me was the unhibited,cogent and discerning comments of girls from State schools.They were speaking to the Text Book Board officials as equals and made sure it was in English,least concerned whether they were speaking the Queen's English or their own adaptation-they were making their point and powerfully too. Read more
Dear Baela and Ameena,
As I walked out of the Children’s Library Complex I saw a gentleman struggling to adjust five little girls with beaming faces, on a motorbike. While I tried to convince him to do two rounds, he told me that it was not so difficult in the morning, but by the end of the day each one of them had collected loads of freebies from the different stalls and were not ready to part with any of the printed material- some of them just scraps of paper! One of the little girls said, “I will decorate my room with these brochures as they will always remind me of the most enjoyable day of my life”.
Thanks for inviting me to the Children’s Literature Festival. It was a very unique experience given the disturbed times we’re living in; the participation in terms of numbers and fervor was absolutely amazing. The overwhelming public response definitely points at the need for such events; it also signals a general sense of awareness about the significance of reading. The fact that so many schools and families were there shows the readiness of the people to divert their energies towards reading and books. Accolades to both OUP and ITA for making people understand that books are not just pieces of paper, and that books and reading can open up minds to infinite worlds of information and entertainment. CLF made many teachers, children and parents understand the many different ways books and other teaching and learning materials can be utilized as alternate resources of information and entertainment. Read more
Dear Ameena and Baela,
Congratulations on a successful first CLF in Pakistan. I have been working with children for the past 2 decades, but I must say it was an invigorating experience of my life. In the beginning I was nervous I did not know how to engage nearly 500 children in that big main hall. But I must say the positive response from the children uplifted my spirits and I wish to have many more opportunities where I can introduce my Amai - The bird of Light to children.
The sheer number of children 20,000 speaks volumes for the success of CLF. What I found heartening was that children from far of corners of Pakistan also participated. I would like to see more special children participate next year. CLF is an enriching experience for children, especially for those from small towns who rarely get such opportunities. Considering the troubled time we are experiencing in Pakistan where children are exposed to unprecedented violence I am grateful to be a part of CLF where in a small way I was a part of the process of 'enriching children's minds'.
I also enjoyed the story telling session because I think, all literature, and literacy, is born from the human need to tell stories, to tell stories about one self or about others, to tell stories about the world to better understand our existence, the others and the universe we live in. I found an opportunity to attend those sessions and enjoyed a lot.
A stall by ITA was also organized and displayed training manuals, Health kit, EC kit, Learning material, and Curriculum etc. Visitors showed great interest in our stall. They were willing to purchase our Manuals and EC kit.
The next session in the Auditorium was play “Jungle Jungle Zindabad” by Sheema Kirmani. The play was very influential. It was a translated play and about the protection of environment that how jungles are being affected by anthropogenic activities. The way she presented the whole concept was very appreciable. The audience praised her about the great presentation of her play and characters.
The next play was by “Lal Theater”. The basic theme of the play was to make the young generation realize about their role to improve the image of Pakistan Globally. The play was about patriotism and that was very heart touching. I felt so proud of being Pakistani after the play. It gave me a new spirit. Read more
Sumaira Muzafar - IPL class of 2010-2013
CLF 2011 Was very good Festival because it involved reading, creativity and critical thinking among children. People from other countries, like India, came and shared their readings with us. In the same way other people also shared their readings and a friendly environment was created. There were different book stalls for students and they got an opportunity to read their favorite books. Students participated in many reading related activities and won the prizes. Different well known authors were invited to the festival and we got chance to attend their sessions.Theatre performance was great like “Jungle Jungle Zindabad”which was about animals living in jungle. The theme of the play was that if all the animals are united and face the problems together than why cant the human can do this because if animals together fight and win so human are more powerful than the animals to tackle the problems and overcome them. Hardships can come any time in the life so we should be prepared for that time. The session I liked most was “Promoting Reading or Closing Minds”. This session was about textbooks that why students feel textbooks are boring and what are the ways to make them interesting? I shared my experience of teaching practice that books are not boring if teachers are well trained then they can make the text books interesting. However, textbooks quality needs to be drastically improved as well.
Farah - IPL Student
Man is born for learning exploring searching and practicing in the real world..It was great experience at children literature festival. Informative session with great people rise hope, encouragement and motivation. children literature festival was medium to enhance effecting learning in children. Our cheif guest was "SHAHBAZ SHARIF"... 25-26 november,2011 were a wonderful days of motivation and inducing habit of reading in young generation. Different activities were running at clf like competition , stories telling, puppet show , speeches many others. learning never stop. Human is never old to learn. Learning is life long process.
Comments by students of Sanjan Nagar Public Education Trust
Class: (10th) Event: Poster Making “won 1st prize” Reflection: It was a great experience, participating in the sessions and competitions held at CLF. Poster competition was a great experience in which I participated and won the 1st prize. Participating in such a festival gave the students an opportunity to express themselves.
Class: (10th) Event: Bol K Lab Azad…. Position: 4th in poetry reading received 2500/- cash prize Reflection: CLF was a great experience of my life and I learned a lot there. It was basically an awareness based literature festival for children. CLF provided different opportunities to students by arranging different sessions to enhance children’s literary ideas.
Class: 5 Event: Bol Kay Lab Azad Hain Teray Position: 1st received 5000/- cash prize She shared her prize with a girl of her class Nisha Noor to pay her school fee as well. This is what we call value education. Nobody forced her, it was done by her own as a personal gesture
Class: (7th) Event: Bol K Lab Azad…. Participated: read her poetry Reflection: Being a part of CLF was a good experience. It made me more confident. It was enjoyable and worthwhile experience . I learned a lot while attending different sessions with a lot many different people from all over Pakistan.
Class: (7th) Event: Bol K Lab Azad… Reflection: Winning a prize was a very delightful moment. It helped me to be more confident and to represent myself.
Class: (7th) Event: Bol K Lab Azad…. Reflection: Children’s Literature Festivel was a great place to represent ourselves. Our poem which we wrote in a group was represented in the corner of “Bol k Lab Azad Hain Tere”. It was a joyful moment when we won.
Class: (7th) Event: Bol K Lab Azad…. Reflection: We wrote a poem in a group which was presented in a session “Bol k Lab Azad Hain Tere”. We won just because of our efforts. I enjoyed a lot to become a part of it.
Class: (7th) Event: Bol K Lab Azad…. Reflection: It was a very exciting moment to win a prize. Our efforts helped us to won. My teacher is the only one who helped me to write a poem.
Class: (7th) Event: Bol K Lab Azad… Reflection: Our group wrote a poem which we presented in “Bol K Lab Azad Hain Tere” and we won a prize. It was a very exciting experience to get a prize. We also attended sessions and enjoyed it. I enjoyed very much there Group mentioned below : Saman Ashraf, Sadia Afzal, Midhat Fazal, Noor ul Ain, Iqra Yunus, Iqra Sittar , Saba Kanwal
Received cash prize of 3000/- in the category of Bol kay lab azad hain teray as a whole group performance .