CLF and TLF organizes by ITA & Oxford University Press at ACP

Sameer Nazir
The 16th Children’s Literature Festival (CLF) along with the fourth Teachers’ Literature Festival (TLF) will take place in Karachi on February 26-28, 2015 at the Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi. CLF and TLF will be organized by Idara-e-Taleem-O-Aagahi (ITA) and Oxford University Press (OUP) at the Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi and in support of the I am Karachi campaign.

Founded by Baela Raza Jamil of Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) and co-founded by Ameena Saiyid, of the Oxford University Press (OUP) in collaboration with Open Society Foundations (OSF), it is a social movement to improve the learning practices in Pakistan (ASER 2010-14) and to promote reading, creative writing and critical thinking across Pakistan and beyond. (

Teachers’ Literature Festival is a new component of CLF that was added in 2014 to embed the culture of reading and critical thinking in classrooms. For the 2nd time in Karachi, Teachers’ Literature Festival will be held which will be a day exclusively for teachers on core concept and practices of CLFs encouraging them to make their classrooms and schools implement them practically. The TLF is going to include sessions ranging from Reading with Expression, Creative Writing, Use of New Media in the Classrooms, Book Launches, Teachers’ Voices.

On each of the three days this is a free Public event for ALL school systems of Karachi and Sindh from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm of 14 learning multisensory programs to promote the culture of reading for creativity, imagination and stimulation beyond textbooks and tests. About 4000 teachers and 30,000 children are expected to attend the CLF/TLF Karachi 2015

The unique poster for Karachi CLF/TLF has been designed by prominent author, illustrator and artist, Rumana Husain.

Like always, each hall/space of the Arts Council has been named after classical and popular literature, authors, poets and characters such as Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, Kitab Ghar, Bulleh Shah, Manto Kee Gali, Dastaan Sraa’aay, Bagh-e-Sheherezade making them come alive in the imagination of children.

This year, CLF is being held under the banner of I am Karachi. As a response to the growing issue of violence in Karachi, concerned citizens and civil society organizations have launched a peace campaign called I AM KARACHI. I AM KARACHI aims to inculcate hope, pride and ownership in the citizens of Karachi to collectively strive for a peaceful city. The campaign is led by a consortium which includes 30 notable individuals of Karachi (including Rumana Husain and Ahmed Shah) and 100 plus civil society organizations from across Karachi.

This was revealed in a press conference on the 11th of February 2015, addressed by by the co-founder of CLF, Ameena Saiyid, Member of I am Karachi consortium, Rumana Husain, CLF Programme Manager, Maham Ali, Head of Liabilities HBL, Owais Sheikh and General Secretary Arts Council and Member of I am Karachi consortium, Ahmed Shah.

Quotes of panelists:

Rumana Husain, a member of the I am Karachi consortium spoke about the importance and relevance of holding such festivals in the context of growing intolerance and divide in the society. “As a direct objective of the I am Karachi campaign which is to reclaim public spaces, it is necessary to create and nurture environments and spaces for greater social and cultural engagement in the city, particularly with children and teachers at the foundation of a social fabric of society” she stated.

Ahmed Shah showed concern over the worsening law and order situation of the city and said that once Karachi used to be the city of lights but peace of the city has been put on stake in the name of race, ethnicity, religion and sect. “We are striving to engage youth in positive activities and make them peace ambassadors because this is the fight against hatred, ignorance and intolerance. Through ‘I am Karachi’ campaign, we want to secure the future of our future generation and reclaim and reinvent our city.” he said.

“Mein akela hi chala thha jaanib-e- manzil magar, Loag saath aatey gayey aur karwaan banta gaya”. This is so true that we two, Baela Jamil and myself began this and took it forward—from CLF year after year and then TLF also. We took the first steps and now there are sponsors, writers, supporters and participants for these eagerly awaited and attended Literature Festivals that promote education, knowledge and critical thinking as well as enjoyment” said Ameena Saiyid while addressing the press conference

The Children’s Literature Festival was founded in collaboration with like-minded stakeholders including publishers, government, CSOs and corporate partners to explore large public spaces for learning. CLF is an Equalizer and enables children from all school systems to explore the world of expression, reading and imagination beyond textbooks. CLF is open to all children from all segments and school systems as well as their teachers and parents for an experience to remember and replicate when they go back to their schools and homes. CLF has reached the level of popularity through support of eminent authors, poets, artists, actors, musicians, trainers etc. who give their time free of cost in the spirit of ‘giving back to society’. To date over 150 such celebrities/institutions of all ages have joined hands with CLF.

Celebrities and prominent personalities of Pakistan such as Anwar Maqsood Saba Hamid, Ayesha Omar, Sidra Iqbal, Maria Memon, Zubeida Mustafa, Dr. Arfa Syeda Zehra, Adeel Hashmi, Khaled Anam, Arshad Mahmud, Sharmila Faruqi, Haseena Moin, Amra Alam, Rumana Husain, Zambeel Dramatic Readings, Toffee TV and many more will be participating at the CLF Karachi 2015

In 2013 CLF began its series of publications, the bi-monthly magazine Uran Tashtaree (Flying Saucer) edited by the famous author Amra Alam and three books for children by Rumana Husain. CLF’s children’s publication written by Rumana Husain “Tota Khan aur Bakri Ara ka Safarnama” will be launched at the TLF/CLF Karachi. In the coming years young child authors’ works will be published as well through the CLF platform.

In three years CLF has reached over 335,000 children /teachers each time going beyond planned targets as a non-gated event to allow access in an organized manner to large number of schools and public. Each session is sensitive to the principles of inclusion, local languages and participation of ALL children.


Sameer Nazir
A one day capacity building awareness workshop for Principal Accounting Officers / Heads of Departments of Government of Sindh was organized by the Sindh Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (SPPRA) with the collaboration of Assessment Strengthening Program-RSPN on February 11, 2015 at local Hotel Karachi. The workshop was attended by senior officers of Sindh Government including Mr. Subhan Memon, Chairman Chief Minister’s Inspection & Evaluation Team and officers from Finance, Excise & Taxation, Governor’s Secretariat, Chief Minister’s Secretariat, Irrigation, Works & Services Department, Local Government, Sindh Insurance and other organization / departments working under the Government of Sindh.
In the opening remarks, Mr. Ghulam Sarwar Khero, Provincial Coordinator ASP PPO Sindh highlighted the importance of workshop. Mr. Nazar Rathore, Director Capacity Building, ASP CPO Islamabad informed the participants about various initiatives of the ASP funded by the USAID. Mr. Sajid Jamal Abro, Managing Director-SPPRA appreciated the participation of Principal Accounting Officers and their nominees for attending the workshop. He highlighted the importance of such capacity building workshops in removing difficulties in compliance of the SPP Rules. He also thanked ASP-RSPN for extending support in capacity building plan under which two day workshops will follow at divisional headquarters at Karachi, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur & Larkana. He further informed regarding the future initiatives by the SPPRA in collaboration with donors which include establishment of Procurement Performance Management System (PPMS), E-Procurement, and Certification program for officers/officials dealing with procurements. He also said that the SPPRA was also working on amendments of the rules for removing difficulties without compromising on fairness, transparency, efficiency, economy and value for money. He said that so far 3403 persons have been trained by the SPPRA and more than 58 workshops have been conducted with assistance of various donors/organizations and on its own.
The workshop was conducted by two procurement specialists Mr. Arab Shaikh and Mr. Ali Imam Qadri. The session was interactive and issues related to procurement process were thoroughly discussed and clarified by the specialists. At the end of the workshop certificates were awarded to the participants.

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