Education

Karachi Literature Festival Goes International

Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) recently celebrates 70th anniversary of the Pakistan’s foundation at the Royal Festival Hall of the Southbank Centre, as a part of their annual festival Alchemy, was a resounding success. Dubbed as Pakistan’s biggest literary event, the KLF brought together writers, scholars, and artists from diverse backgrounds, creative traditions, and academic disciplines to showcase contemporary Pakistani literature and writers. Produced by Oxford University Press (OUP) Pakistan, KLF was organized in collaboration with the Southbank Centre, Bloomsbury Pakistan (a research collective based in London), and Rukhsana Ahmed.

KLF London

In the welcome note, Ameena Saiyid, Managing Director, Oxford University Press, and Founder/Director,

Karachi, and Islamabad Literature Festivals said,

“We have much to be pleased about in Pakistan which has had the longest period of continuous democratic government. Despite its image, most Pakistanis are moderate because of our Sufi tradition. Today, we are celebrating Pakistan’s diversity and plurality.”

“By holding KLF in London, we are also celebrating 70 years of Pakistan–British friendship, our shared history and future which, I hope, we can together build for the next 70 years. Pakistan and the UK have strong cultural, educational, intellectual, diplomatic, and commercial ties. Hopefully, through collaborative events with Southbank Centre, UK’s cultural hub, we can strengthen our ties and build a foundation for the future”

The audiences at the KLF were treated to a medley of around 20 parallel sessions encompassing talks, panel discussions, poetry readings, mushaira, and performances. A stellar cast of around 70 leading Pakistani-origin and international writers, scholars, critics, journalists, and artists participated in stimulating sessions covering a broad range of themes, ideas, and subjects pertaining to Pakistan’s literature, arts, and culture. A separate strand for children which included an immersive theatre piece by Jungly Jadoogars; an animated film by the artist Fauzia Minallah; storytelling by the children’s author, Shahbano Bilgrami; and sing-along songs by the veteran Pakistani musician, Khaled Anam, were also a part of the festival.

KLF London

KLF London started off with the renowned novelist and journalist, Mohammed Hanif’s keynote address giving unique insights into Pakistan’s history, hopes, and dilemmas. Earlier, at the festival opening, Ameena Saiyid, KLF and Islamabad Literature Festival Founder and Director, Asif Farrukhi, KLF and Islamabad Literature Festival Founder, and Adrian Mellor, Managing Director, Asia Education, OUP, welcomed the guests and speakers. Pakistan’s High Commissioner to UK, Syed Ibn Abbas also spoke on the occasion.

KLF London

Some of the sessions held early on in the day included ‘Transphobia and Misogyny’, a discussion on legislations around transgenders and women in Pakistan; ‘Reluctant Returners: Migrants, Refugees and Memories of the Homeland’ in which Kamila Shamsie, Qaisra Shahraz, and Mirza Waheed explored characters and fictions inspired by exile and displacement; and ‘Pakistani Renaissance? The Best in Cinema, Reportage, Theatre and Fashion’ with the television actor Atiqa Odho, filmmaker Faris Kermani, designer Maheen Khan, and journalist Cyril Almeida as speakers.

KLF London

Faris Kermani, Cyril Almeida , Atiqa Odho and Maheen Khan

Taimur Rahman, Moni Mohsin, and H. M. Naqvi weighed up the challenge of portraying Pakistan’s gender and class divide in the session ‘Blaming the Elite: Class, Greed, and Gender in Contemporary Pakistan’. Educationists, entrepreneurs, and experts including Farid Panjwani, Ahmereen Reza, Mona Kasuri, and Ameena Saiyid were part of a stimulating panel discussion titled ‘Madrassas and Montessoris: Are Private Schools Keeping Madrassas at Bay?’ moderated by Nigham Shahid.

KLF London

In a panel discussion titled ‘Against All Odds: The Price of Prosperity in Pakistan Today’ held later in the day, Shuja Nawaz, Maleeha Lodhi, Ishrat Husain, and Victoria Schofield analyzed geopolitical and internal challenges facing Pakistan. In the session ‘Urdu ki Zid Mai: At Loggerheads: Urdu vs English vs Regional Languages’ Basir Kazmi, Ishrat Afreen, and Harris Khalique, and Asif Farrukhi discussed if Urdu in Pakistan is under threat from English or the regional languages.

KLF London

The evening sessions comprised thought-provoking discourses on ‘Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: Diaspora Pakistanis Caught in Post Brexit Hate-Storm’, with Ziauddin Sardar, Farooq Bajwa, and Iftikhar Malik debating the challenges faced by Pakistani diaspora in Europe; ‘Karachi: City of Lights and Gangs’ with Laurent Gayer, Nichola Khan, Mohammed Hanif, Sobia Ahmad Kaker, Omar Shahid Hamid, and Kamran Asdar Ali talking about the battle for Karachi and its resilience despite political conflicts; and ‘Tweeting for Social Change: How Social Media is Influencing the Political Scene’ in which Huma Yusuf,  Umber Khairi, and Umair Javed discussed the impact of social media on Pakistan’s political scene.

KLF London

The highlight of the festival was the ‘Satrangi Mushaira’, which was an open mic session for Pakistan’s regional language poets to recite their latest offerings. Another session ‘In Their Own Words: Writers and Poets from Pakistan’, moderated by Muneeza Shamsie, featured poetry and prose readings by writers of Pakistani origin including Imtiaz Dharker, Aamer Hussein, and Zaffar Kunial. In ‘Partition Stories’ Nimra Bucha, Vayu Naidu, Shayma Saiyid, Amrit Kaur Lohia, and Sarah Ansari presented a medley of readings, film clips, recitals, dance and poetry about the Partition of India.

KLF London

The evening came to a close by a kathak dance performance by Shayma Saiyid and a music concert by Khumariyaan, a Peshawar-based music band known for their fusion brand of Pashtun folk music.

Sponsorship support to the KLF London was provided by Bestway, Arts Council England, Third World Quarterly magazine, Salt n Pepper restaurant, High Commission of Pakistan in London, South Asia Institute of the University of Texas at Austin, and The Pakistan Society.

KFC Pakistan Day Celebration

KFC Pakistan has been working with Zindagi Trust (owned by Shahzad Roy) since a while now and it  has raised over 70 million rupees. KFC previously donated this money to Zindagi Trust, but has started taking ownership in terms of running the school. On 23rd March, there were kids from a school – which was the second school which KFC is jointly running with Zindagi Trust, gathered at KFC Ittehad outlet, with the aim to celebrate 23rd March, along with the agenda to highlight the achievement of KFC and Zindagi Trust.
kfc pakistan
The reason of highlighting this is to prove KFC as a socially responsive brand, highlight its CSR capacity and at the same time, promote the spirit of doing something for the nation, particularly in terms of education and literacy, because educated Pakistan will be a smart Pakistan. Event was attending by numerous celebrities such as Farhan Agha, Sarwat Gillani, Nida Khan and others. KFC CEO Raza Pirbhai along with these celebrities talked to students, motivated them to excel in life; students sang national songs, which was a wonderful moment.
kfc pakistan

The City School stages “Thought Leaders” Pakistan’s First Early Years Education Symposium

The City School (TCS) Pakistan’s largest private school system recently organized the nation’s first ever symposium on Early Years Education, entitled “Thought Leaders”. The symposium convened a platform for renowned experts and influencers to exchange best practices and cutting edge research in designing, developing and managing high performance learning environments for early childhood education. The Symposium drew on a combination of speaker sessions, panel discussions and workshops engaging local stakeholders, early years’ practitioners, schools and parents, to set the future direction for this critical area of education.

The City School

The City School Group Photograph

In his keynote address, Philip Hallworth, Director Academics, The City School said, “Children only get one chance at childhood – it is both our privilege and our duty, whether as educators or parents, to ensure that they spend their childhood actively learning and not passively doing. Actively learning the knowledge, life skills and values that will be the foundation for their future – and that they must have fun doing so. We should never underestimate the influence we as educators can have on young lives. Child-centric Early Years education develops confident, resilient, sociable and tolerant young people who then grow up to be the responsible adult thought leaders of our future society.”

The City School

Philip Hallworth, Director Academics – TCS

Saboohi Irtiza, GM Early Years Education at The City School, laid great emphasis on cognitive learning among young children through interactive play opportunities. The City School vows to innovate in early years education with teaching and learning methods that are an outcome of evolving technology and a stimulating environment in and out of the classroom. As the “Thought Leader” in Early Years Education, TCS is providing the best curriculum, thereby designing the framework best suited to address each child’s needs.

The City School

Saboohi Irtiza, GM Early Years Education

At the panel discussion for developing 21st century skills Saboohi Irteza said, “The contribution of the entire family in the holistic development of the child is vital. Social constructivism is an essential strategy in developing 21st century skills in students.” While Rumana Hussain said that “The medium of education should be in a child’s mother tongue at the early years if we want learning to take place.” Khaled Anum believes that “Teaching foreign languages such as English should open doors not build walls.”

The focus of the symposium was on preparing children for the 21st century, which is characterized by great technological advancements. Technology has advanced education and is playing a vital role in personalizing learning, encouraging collaboration, and preparing students for the future. The City School is investing heavily in integrating technology in the classroom, employing innovative teaching and learning methods to ensure that its students are well prepared for the 21st century. The Symposium was broadcast live on YouTube on TCS’ Official YouTube Channel, another first for Pakistan.

The City School

Role Play – Storytelling Area