Pakistan Learning Festival


Gaen aur Seekhein /Learning through Harmonies is a Communities of Practice (COP) innovation implemented by ITA’s flagship program Pakistan Learning Festival (PLF)

Communities of Practice (COP) is a group of individuals and organisations working to create systemic change to raise children’s learning levels. COP is an initiative the of the Research for Improvement in Systems of Education (RISE) Program, a global research endeavour to understand how education systems in developing countries can overcome the Learning Crisis

Reclaiming Music for Social Emotional & Foundational Learning through Poems & Songs in mainstream education is a pilot in collaboration with  RISE* Communities or Practice  as 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 (Gaen aur Seekein/Learning through Harmonies) for wider dissemination to the entire country with feedback loops

Given the Learning Crisis tracked by ITA’s niche nationwide Flagship Program ASER Pakistan and Learning Poverty data by the World Bank, children must be exposed to pedagogies embedded in Holistic & Social Emotional Learning (SEL). With such a holistic approach, 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 (LTH) /Gaen aur Seekhein is thus conceived as part of the mainstream curriculum and pedagogies- The experiment by PLF in 2021 of a Sohail Rana song “Daak  Babu”  Pilot  conducted  during the Pakistan Learning Festival Karachi provided insight to the possibilities of ‘Gaen aur Seekhein” or LTHs:

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.


Attributes of Holistic Learning

  • Experiential; Personalized
  • Both Teacher-guided and Self-guided
  • Considers the Community: Includes SEL;
  • Culturally Sensitive: Strengthens Relationships
  • Inter-disciplinary;
  • Focused on Formative Assessments
  • Strength Based; Reverent of The World (Gratitude); Play based
  • Equal Parts Indoors and Outdoor
  • 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

  • Dependability.
  • Leadership and team management.
  • Problem-solving.
  • Data analysis.
  • Communication.
  • Time management.
  • Empathy.
  • Adaptability.

Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) defines social-emotional learning (SEL) as “the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions, achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.”

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

  • SELF-AWARENESS: Recognizing one’s emotions, values, strengths and challenges, and how they influence behavior
  • SELF-MANAGEMENT: Managing emotions, thoughts and behavior, and achieving goals and aspirations, which can include the ability to persevere in the face of challenges
  • SOCIAL AWARENESS: Showing understanding & empathy for others
  • Data analysis.
  • Communication.
  • RESPONSIBLE DECISION MAKING: Making caring and constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions
  • 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 Source World’s Largest Lesson for SDG 4 :


Let’s Try Gaen Aur Seekhain


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