December 23, 2014
12 December 2014 marked the day when a number of illustrious faces came together to fight for a cause that needs much promotion in our country. Pakistan has been constantly up in arms when it comes to propagating education and equal literacy. While it is unfortunate that we are quite far from the dream, it goes without saying that Pakistanis share the same dream and are leaving no stone unturned in realizing it; Pakistanis are more than willing to work towards the common goal of acquiring and spreading knowledge. And what better way to fight this most commendable battle, than to assemble under the banner of ‘Right to Education.’
The event revolved around recognizing the tremendous efforts of Malala Yousafzai and celebrating her Nobel Peace Prize triumph. Malala Yousafzai has been nothing short of a beacon of hope, not just for girls but for all aspiring students in Pakistan. And we here at Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi endorse her struggle and her achievements wholeheartedly. This event could not have been fueled without our very enthusiastic and capable Education Youth Ambassadors who joined our celebration all the way from Peshawar. The day kicked off with renowned musician and writer Daniyal Noorani, teaching the guests about the importance of channeling their creativity through animation, whilst advocating a cause. Needless to say, his charged session had all the guests awe-inspired by a very out-of-the-box way of approaching advocacy campaigns, and we sincerely hope that everyone got to take away as much as possible from it.
We were then graced by the prolific presence of activists Tahira Abdullah, educator Syed Safdar Raza, the head of Girls Education Program Oxfam GB Saeed ul Hassan, and our chief guests, Malala’s peers who went through the same traumatic experience that Malala did and devoted their life to promulgating education, Shazia Ramzan and Kainat Riaz. The session was moderated by our very own Dr Baela Raza Jamil and all their messages were loud and clear: proclaiming that they are “Up for School” and demanding education for all. The EYAs added more depth to the discussion by sharing their views and asking constructive questions from our panelists. The level of engrossment that each person brought to the table was indeed a testament to the resounding success of ‘Up for School.’
This session was then followed by another equally stimulating dialogue by Faisal Bari and Nargis Sultana from Open Society Foundation, CEO of Human Development Foundations Azhar Saleem, and famous TV anchor and journalist Fereeha Idrees. They conversed and answered questions regarding the responsibilities of public figures and the media in creating an education oriented environment in our country. They focused on how to persuade parents and children to support schooling along with multiple ways of countering the deep rooted hurdles that pose a threat to the spread of education.
All in all, the event was an audible echo that was let out through all the right people to let the world know that Pakistan is indeed pro education and unafraid of toil. Through such vigorous exchange of ideas, it was quite obvious that we will not back down until and unless each child gets to go to school. There is someone as dedicated and brave as Malala hidden underneath each child’s skin and it is all our jobs to drag that hero out and set it free.