Pakistan Learning Festival 2024 culminates on a high note with day two of learning, creativity, and empowerment

Lahore (Muhammad Yasir)

The second day of the Pakistan Learning Festival 2024, culminated with the Governor of Punjab, Baleegh ul Rehman, closing the session which had unfolded as a continuation of a dynamic tapestry of educational sessions, creative workshops, and empowering discussions. Speaking on the occasion he stated, “Just reading a lot of books at one point in your lives is not enough. Learning is an on-going task and we must ensure that ecery day that we live is better than the last.

That can only happen if we read as reading is a must to improve not just our learning curve, but to become better human beings and to learn through a fun experience. That is why such Festivals are a must for our nation.” The day commenced with an insightful session on “Learning through Role Play and Drama” by Atif Badar, setting the scene for a day of engaging and interactive learning experiences.

One of the highlights of the day was the launch event “Chutki ke Rang, Bachon ke Sang,” featuring the National Book Foundation’s unveiling of five books in collaboration with ITA and Room to Read. Maryam Shehzadi, Obien Mayo, Rakhshanda Naveed, Ali Raza, Marria Khan and Baela Raza Jamil participated in a discussion moderated by Rumana Husain, exploring the power of storytelling. Renowned artist Vicky Zhuang Yi-Yin shared insights into the impactful book “Sitti’s Bird – a Gaza Story” by Malak Mattar, adding depth to the festival’s diverse literary offerings. Rang Barangy Dantt, presented by Rakhshanda Naveed, and the launch of “Nanhay Hoshiyar,” focusing on social-emotional literacy through Allama Iqbal’s poems by Aimen Mirza and Baela Jamil, added further dimensions to the literary landscape. The festival continued to foster a love for science through engaging sessions like “Science Fuse,” exploring subjects ranging from the Science of Rockets to Making Human-sized Bubbles. Khwarizmi Science Society’s Microscopy Show provided a fascinating look into the microscopic world.

The British Council further enriched the festival with a Popup Library and Storytelling sessions, promoting digital and gamified learning. Inclusive sports activities, coding workshops, and various creative activities kept participants engaged throughout the day. Educational sessions included an engaging theatre workshop by Abuzar Malik, offering participants a hands-on experience in the art of performance and storytelling. In a meaningful initiative, students took center stage with climate change and learning pledges, showcasing their commitment to environmental improvement and continuous education. Riqza Riaz and Izzah Ramzan orchestrated an art and expression activity, providing a platform for participants to unleash their creativity. Through this hands-on session, individuals explored various forms of artistic expression, fostering a vibrant and inclusive atmosphere at the festival. Dr. Uzma Ashiq conducted a crucial session on mental health and psychosocial support tailored for adolescents and youth.

The discussion addressed essential aspects of mental well-being, offering insights and strategies to navigate the challenges faced by this demographic, promoting mental health awareness in the community.

Film screenings by SOC Films unfolded thought-provoking narratives, providing a cinematic journey. The curated films, including “Quaid say Batain” and “HASHIYA,” offered alternative perspectives and engaged audiences on social justice issues. WWF representatives led climate and water conservation discussions, enhancing the critical need for environmental awareness.

The sessions explained the ongoing challenges, future considerations, and the role of individuals in fostering a sustainable and ecologically responsible approach to address climate and water-related issues. An insightful discussion on personal and menstrual health, shed light on important aspects of well-being. Another session dedicated to youth participation in promoting adolescent issues provided a platform for meaningful dialogue.

The festival wrapped up with a crucial panel discussion on child abuse and protection. The discourse centered on child mental health, development, and growth, highlighting the importance of safeguarding children’s well-being. The Pakistan Learning Festival has consistently served as a beacon of knowledge, made possible through the steadfast support of its valued sponsors and partners including British Council, Room to Read, LGS, PILAC, Beaconhouse School, Idara-e-Taleem-o-Agahi, Sighsavers, and Oxford University Press. Pakistan Learning Festival exemplifies the spirit of collective engagement and knowledge-sharing, reinforcing its role as a catalyst for positive change in the community.