Pakistan's First-Ever Qaumi Asataza Conference, Dec 2013 - Hosted by Alif Ailaan, I-SAPS and Half Dozen other Partner Organizations

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On December 26, for the first time in the country’s history, nearly 400 teachers from government schools …

On December 26, for the first time in the country’s history, nearly 400 teachers from government schools
across Pakistan gathered in Islamabad to talk about education reform.

The Qaumi Asataza Conference 2013 (National Teachers’ Conference) brought together government teachers, politicians, educationists and religious scholars to discuss new ways to address an old and intractable problem.

Qaumi Asataza Conference 2013's more than 700 participants included :

o 375 government school teachers from 96 districts across Pakistan
o 25 private school teachers
o 15 politicians
o 4 ministers
o 6 bureaucrats
o 40 media persons
o 100 representatives of partner organisations

More in: Education , Business
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  • 1. ALIF AILAAN UPDATE December 2013
  • 2. 2 Qaumi Asataza Conference 2013 On December 26, for the first time in the country’s history, nearly 400 teachers from government schools across Pakistan gathered in Islamabad to talk about education reform. The Qaumi Asataza Conference 2013 (National Teachers’ Conference) brought together government teachers, politicians, educationists and religious scholars to discuss new ways to address an old and intractable problem. ● More than 700 participants o 375 government school teachers from 96 districts across Pakistan o 25 private school teachers o 15 politicians o 4 ministers o 6 bureaucrats o 40 media persons o 100 representatives of partner organisations
  • 3. 3 Qaumi Asataza Conference 2013 Our goal was to begin a process of positive engagement with government school teachers. In doing so we hoped to encourage teachers to become champions of reform. Meesaq-e-Ilm (Charter of Knowledge) o A manifesto for teaching in Pakistan o Ground-breaking statement on the part of teachers in favour of fundamental and meaningful reform of the teaching profession o Addresses the needs of Pakistan’s teachers o Formalises their commitment to motivate and lead future generations o Endorsed by delegates at the conference o Marks the first time that teachers have come forward as leaders for positive change in the education sector o Co-drafted by representatives of teachers’ unions and senior educationists, and supported by Alif Ailaan Top: Delegates presenting a signed copy of the Meesaq-e-Ilm to Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal; Above: The Honourable Minister addressing the gathering
  • 4. 4 Qaumi Asataza Conference 2013 A number of prominent politicians attended the event to show their support for Pakistan’s teachers Clockwise from top left: Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal; KP Minister for Education Atif Khan; Minister of state for education Baligh-ur-Rehman; Opposition leader Sindh Faisal Subzwari; JUI-F spokesperson Jan Achakzai; Chief Coordinator CM Balochistan Ishaq Baloch; Advisor Education to CM Balochistan Sardar Raza Barrech; Senator Farhatullah Babar
  • 5. 5 Qaumi Asataza Conference 2013 Our friends in the media helped spread the word Clockwise from top left: Qaiser Abbas, motivational speaker and CEO Possibilities Foundation; Saleem Safi, columnist and TV anchor; Ejaz Haider, columnist and TV anchor; Shahzeb Khanzada, columnist and TV anchor; Mohammed Mallick, journalist and TV anchor
  • 6. 6 Prominent educationists spoke at the conference and our friends and partners were there to lend their support Qaumi Asataza Conference 2013 o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o Aga Khan University - Institute for Educational Development CARE Foundation Education Fund for Sindh (EFS) Gallup Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) Institute of Development and Economic Alternatives (IDEAS) ILM Ideas Institute for Social and Policy Sciences (I-SAPS) LEAD Pakistan Pakistan Association for Difficulties in Learning (PADIL) Pakistan Coalition for Education (PCE) Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies (PIPS) Private School Management Association (PSMA) Rural Support Programme Network (RSPN) Society for the Advancement of Education (SAHE) Sub-National Governance (SNG) Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) Teach For Pakistan (TFP) Clockwise from top left: Dr Faisal Bari (IDEAS); Ahmed Ali (I-SAPS); Dr Salman Humayun (I-SAPS); Dr Arfa Sayeda Zehra (Forman Christian College); Dr Baela Raza Jamil (ITA)
  • 7. 7 Qaumi Asataza Conference 2013 Clockwise from top left: Delegates enjoy lunch in the sun; Alif Ailaan’s data display; a view of the dining hall; outside the venue; a stall set up by our partner, ITA
  • 8. 8 Qaumi Asataza Conference 2013 The conference was covered by all major national and regional newspapers. Media mentions (highlights) o Associated Press of Pakistan, Dec 26: “Economic stability be achieved through knowledge based society: Ahsan Iqbal” http://www.app.com.pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=256774&Itemid=2 o Business Recorder, Dec 26: “Govt committed to take Meesaq-e-Ilm forward: Ahsan Iqbal” http://www.brecorder.com/top-news/108pakistan-top-news/150363-govt-committed-to-take-meesaq-e-ilm-forward-ahsan-iqbal.html o Business Recorder, Dec 26: “Economic stability be achieved through knowledge based society: Ahsan Iqbal” http://www.brecorder.com/top-news/1-front-top-news/150370-economic-stability-be-achieved-through-knowledge-based-society-ahsaniqbal.html o Dawn, Dec 27: “Using teachers for irrelevant duties affecting education” http://m.dawn.com/news/1076634/using-teachers-for-irrelevantduties-affecting-education o Daily Times, Dec 27: “Economic stability only through knowledge-based society: Ahsan Iqbal” Saleem Safi recorded an episode of his popular GEO http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/business/27-DecTV show, Jirga with Saleem Safi, at the conference. 2013/economic-stability-only-throughknowledgebased-society-ahsan o Express Tribune, Dec 27: “National teachers moot: Devolving education was a disaster, says Iqbal” http://tribune.com.pk/story/651095/nationalteachers-moot-devolving-education-was-adisaster-says-iqbal/ o The Nation, Dec 27: “Mooting teachers troubles” http://www.nation.com.pk/islamabad/27-Dec2013/mooting-teachers-troubles o The News, Dec 28: “National Moot Addresses Education Issues” http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-6222965-National-moot-addresses-educationissues Watch the episode at http://www.zemtv.com/2013/12/28/jirgao The Nation, Dec 29: “Frontline Fighters” on-geo-newspakistan-mein-taleem-dene-wale-be-tuqeer-kyunhttp://www.nation.com.pk/editorials/29-Dec28th-december-2013 2013/frontline-fighters
  • 9. Qaumi Asataza Conference 2013 9 The conference was covered live on Twitter with real-time updates on Facebook throughout the day Our social media team live-tweeted the event and our Twitter hashtag #SalamUstad trended for 12 hours and 35 minutes. Our event hashtag #SalamUstad generated a total of 1.17 million impressions with a reach of 4.46 million.* A total of 922 people contributed to the hashtag. * ‘Timeline deliveries’ or ‘impressions’ represent the total possible number of times someone could have viewed the hashtag. ‘Reach’ is the number of unique individuals who received timeline deliveries of the hashtag.
  • 10. 10 Waldain ki Awaz (Voice of Parents) is a new initiative to strengthen the rallying power of parents and help them find local solutions to local problems. Parents’ unions will be established across the country, starting at the union council level. The first phase kicked off in December ● 79 community sessions covering o 6 districts o 30 union councils Waldain ki Awaz
  • 11. 11 Waldain ki Awaz What happens in a community session o Charter of demands signed, consisting of a list of local issues and solutions proposed by the community, to serve as a starting point for action. o Union council representatives nominated to become part of the district-level union o Education champions identified from among parents attending the session, to become local advocates for community needs and education reform. A charter of demands signed by parents attending a community session;
  • 12. 12 Network Coordinators Our network of education activists continued their work on the ground, with 45 events reaching: • 3,421 members of local communities, including teachers and parents • 56 CSOs • 6 politicians
  • 13. 13 Network Coordinators December highlights o Teachers Appreciation Awards, Sudhnoti, AJK (Dec 02) o Seminar on Teachers’ Problems, Bahawalnagar (Dec 03) o Importance of Teachers, Peshawar (Dec 04) o Teachers’ Union Oath-Taking Ceremony, Bhimber, AJK (Dec 05) o Teachers Appreciation Award Ceremony, Mirpur, AJK (Dec 06) o Seminar on Problems of Teachers and Their Solutions, Bahawalnagar (Dec 07) o Debate Competition, Government Girls Primary Schools (Dec 10) o Access to Quality Education for Special Children, Lahore (Dec 12) o Alif Ailaan stall at Lok Mela, Layyah (Dec 14) o Community discussion on Article 25-A, Bannu (Dec 16, 17) o Walk for Government Girls Primary School, Abdul Rehman Goth, Karachi (Dec 16) o Role of Civil Society Organisations and Media in Promoting Education, Rajanpur (Dec 17) o Inter-University Declamation and Videography Contest, Malakand University, Lower Dir (Dec 18) o Role of Teachers in Promotion of Education, Rajanpur (Dec 18) o Speech Competition, Gwadar, Balochistan (Dec 18) o Bajaur Cultural Night, Peshawar (Dec 18) o Why South Punjab is Lagging Behind in Education, Dera Ghazi Khan (Dec 18) o Importance of Teachers, Kasur (Dec 19) o Awareness and Mobilisation Camp on Education Issues, Larkana (Dec 21) o Consultation Meeting with Media, Civil Society, Education Department representatives, Jacobabad (Dec 22) o Education Issues of Minorities, Haripur (Dec 24) o Awareness and Mobilisation Camp on Education Issues, Garhi Khuda Baksh, Naudero (Dec 27) o Being Teachers What Do We Get, Karachi (Dec 31) o Teachers Responsibilities, Issues and Solutions, Hyderabad (Dec 31)
  • 14. 14 Partners Our partner, the Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), continued its engagement with religious scholars and opinion makers. Educational Rights and Obligations: Constitutional and Religious Perspectives – seminar with editors of religious publications (Dec 10) Basic Right to Education, Legislation and Implementation: National and Religious Obligations – a dialogue with religious scholars (Dec 18) More than 20 religious scholars from various schools of thought, and representatives of madrassa education boards, participated. o The state of education in Pakistan is miserable and requires an emergency response. o Other developing nations are progressing fast because of their investment in education. o “ The Pakistani state and Pakistani society must realise that prosperity and stability cannot be achieved without focusing on education. o Teachers, parents, religious scholars, politicians, civil society activists, journalists and citizens, as well as the government, all need to promote education. Leading scholars, editors and columnists agreed to focus on the importance of education and the right to education. o The federal and provincial governments should take immediate steps to implement Article 25-A of the Constitution. o Religious scholars will use their influence to create awareness about the importance of education. o Khateebs will deliver at least one Friday sermon per month on education. o Civil society needs to make media effective to address the education crisis. o Every literate man should teach at least one illiterate person; this will generate a wave of ‘educational prosperity’. o Editors of religious journals and magazines will include at least one article about education in every edition. o Educational institutions need to communicate with each other to arrive at a strategy to tackle the education crisis. o The budget for education should be increased to at least 5% of GDP.
  • 15. Partners 15 The Rural Support Program Network (RSPN) expanded its work at the grassroots to mobilise demand for education ● ● ● Local support organisations (LSOs) held meetings with education department officials, taking up specific issues such as missing facilities and teacher absenteeism. In the run up to the local government elections, LSOs identified local politicians who are supportive of education reform in their constituencies. LSOs continued their work with school management committees (SMC) to ensure the effective utilisation of school budgets. Some SMCs in South Punjab reported the problem of unavailability of SMC funds, which will be taken up by LSOs with education department officials. A total of 213 meetings with 1,111 participants: o 56 LSO executive body meetings o 6 LSO general body meetings o 73 VO/CO meetings o 5 meetings with education department officials o 63 follow-up meetings with SMCs o 3 follow-up meetings with political workers o 4 parent ittehad (parents’ union) meetings at the union council level o 3 bi-monthly meetings of the District Education Network Bahawalpur, South Punjab: A walk to promote Article 25-A and the right to education; monthly meeting of an all-women LSO
  • 16. 16 Partners RSPN carries the message of education to communities Clockwise from top left: A girls’ school with no building (Bahawalpur); a community session on Article 25-A (Dera Ghazi Khan); a boy being enrolled in school for the first time (Rajanpur); mothers pledge to send their children to school (Rajanpur)
  • 17. Summary – December 2013 17 Total supporters 388,145 FB likes 311,000 Website visits 27,379 Twitter followers 2,244 Declaration signed 33,500 SMS group members 14,022 Engagement with politicians (includes repeat contacts) 11,324 RSPN 1,060 NC events 268 Political advocacy team 205 I-SAPS 2,110 Contacts with parents and communities 261,124 NC events 45,564 SCF citizen engagement 1,877 RSPN participants 213,683 Contacts with teachers 3,993 RSPN 593 Political advocacy team 400 Civil society activities 3,000 Contacts with media 2,169