January 3, 2017
An EYA training was held on 21st and 22nd December 2016 at the Regional office in Karachi, facilitated by the ASER and Right to Education core team. Participants from Sukkur, Ghotki, Jamshoro, Khairpur and Karachi attended the training, which served as platform for active engagement with EYAs and highlighting their achievements in the field.
The first day of the training started with an ice breaking session where each participant shared the ground realities in their district and the different activities that they had already been a part of, sharing with us their expectations from the training and the way forward. The discussion included various issues that that deter higher enrollment levels in their districtssuch as child marriages, perception of education, cost of attendance etc. The EYAs brainstormed on the possible ways to resolve these issues including nonformal education for street children, social media presence for advocacy, the provision of TVET within existing schools etc.
Once the problems had been underlined, we moved on to highlight the importance of evidence based advocacy as the participants were familiarized with concepts of data collection, types of data collection, citizen-led assessments and the role of ASER.
Through documentaries they were given an overview of the idea behind the report and the processes on ground. The rest of the day was dedicated to teaching them how to use the ASER tools so that when they go back to their respective districts, they themselves had the capacity to undertake the survey, send the data to our team to get it made into a report card, and use it to disseminate information for mobilization.
Day two kicked off with a presentation that covered all the International, national and provincial commitments that the government of Pakistan has made to its children to educate them. They were informed about the different agendas including the Sustainable Development goals and its targets, the Global Education Monitoring Report and the cross linkages in education, Article 25-A; The Right to Education Act, Sindh Free and Compulsory Right Act 2013 , Sindh Education Sector Plan (SESP) 2014-2018 and District Education Plans. These promises were analyzed with the current situation analysis and challenges, and linked with an understanding of the government budget and reforms in place, and the way forward with Education Youth Ambassadors playing a key role in mobilizing the communities through dissemination of evidence based data. This was followed by a discussion with the EYAs.
The objectives of the presentation and discussion were:
• To understand the issues in the education sector along with the important definitions to remember
• Guidelines regarding how to become an activist
• To be able to develop a strategy for an action plan
• To gather all stakeholders and implement policy for change
• To use the grass roots apply a strategized plan of action
On the second part of Day 2 the participants were given an overview of how to use advocacy tools for accountability and pressure building of different stakeholders. This was based on teaching the participants how to disseminate information in a multitude of ways through various activities.
They were guided how to conduct baithaks, social media campaigns, write advocacy pieces, map their villages, and involve more youth etc. They were also taught to read the ASER report and then each participant interpreted the findings from their respective district. One of the activities required the EYAs to write a letter to the minister giving their suggestions of reform for the improvement of the education system.
The training ended on a high note with individual commitments from very motivated Education youth ambassadors who were keen to go back and involve more youth in this quest to fulfil their civic responsibility and play their part in improving the status of education leading to sustainable growth.