Karachi (Muhammad Yasir)
The dates of the highly anticipated Pakistan Learning Festival (PLF) 2023 were officially announced here today at a packed press conference attended by not only the media but also by many of the prominent speakers who will be participating in the Festival. This year’s PLF, formerly known as Children’s Literature Festival (CLF), is set to attract diverse audiences.
A movement designed to generate positive social capital and create networks and associations dedicated to unlocking the power of learning, reading, self-expression, and critical thinking, it promises to be an immersive and transformative experience.
The festival encompasses multiple learning strands, boasts a multidisciplinary approach, embraces multiple languages, and prides itself on inclusivity. It is intended for audiences of all ages, with a special focus on children (aged 3-18), teachers, and college and university students.
Prominent speakers at the press conference included Baela Raza Jamil, the founder of PLF, Ahmed Shah, Rumana Husain, Dr. Fouzia Khan, Fahad Manzoor, Muhammad Ali and Kazi Kabir. Their presence underscored the significance of PLF and their collective commitment to education and individual development in Pakistan.
Speaking at the conference, Baela Raza Jamil said, “We are thrilled to introduce the Pakistan Learning Festival as an evolution of our previous success with the Children’s Literature Festival. Our mission is to empower individuals of all ages through learning and reading, fostering a community dedicated to lifelong learning and critical thinking.
PLF is a platform that will ignite curiosity and creativity in children and adults alike.” She further announced, “Pakistan Learning Festival 2023 will unfold in three major cities on the following dates: Karachi: November 7th-8th, 2023 09:00 am to 3:00 pm At Arts Council of Pakistan Islamabad: November 28th-29th, 2023 09:00 am to 03:00 pm At Pak-China Friendship Center Lahore: December 19th-20th, 2023 09:00 am to 03:00 pm At Children Library Complex The festival will feature a rich and diverse programme, including interactive workshops, engaging panel discussions, creative exhibitions, storytelling sessions, and a plethora of educational activities designed to stimulate the intellectual and artistic potential of attendees.
15 new children’s books will be launched during the festival through the Pakistan Literacy Project (PLP), which was initiated by Idarae Taleem o Aagahi (ITA) and Room to Read. National Book Foundation, Maqbool Books, and Alif Laila Books have collaborated to produce the 15 children’s picture books (readers) in Urdu.
The aim is to promote our national language to a wider audience. These 15 stories are written by 15 amazing and well-known Pakistani authors and illustrated by 15 talented illustrators.” Raza added, “To address the ongoing crisis, there will be a joint storytelling session featuring “Sitti’s Bird: A Gaza Story,” written and illustrated by a Palestinian author. The story will be read by Rumana Hussain and Bina Shah to raise awareness among children.” With a growing network of partners, sponsors, and supporters, Pakistan Learning Festival 2023 promises to be a landmark event in the education and cultural calendar of Pakistan. It offers a unique opportunity for attendees to explore, learn, and celebrate the joy of learning.
The event is being organized with the generous support of British Council, UNICEF, Habib Metro, Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) and a few other organizations that have joined to make the Festival a resounding success.