Around fifty young, upcoming journalists drawn from print, electronic, and social media made a solemn pledge to take forward the new narrative for better government schools. At the first “Media for Education” workshop organised by Humqadam in collaboration with GCU, Faisalabad, the educationists, senior media representatives, community leaders, and school managements indulged in a day-long deliberations to give impetus to the construction of facilities and replacement of dangerous buildings.
In Faisalabad district, SCRP is building 495 new classrooms, and 200 toilets in 4 tehsils. Two dangerous school buildings have been replaced by safe and environment-friendly classrooms for over 4000 students. As part of the efforts to link programme to a large number of supporters organising District Media Sensitisation Workshops in the Phase-I. In all, the workshops will help to mobilise close to 200 young media persons, with the long term goal of setting Young Journalists Network for Education (YJNE).
Playing a leadership role, the Vice Chancellor of GCUF, Dr. Mohammad Ali, emphasised the importance of building quality schools at the primary and secondary level. He called it the “first important rung in the ladder of education.” He appreciated DFID’s timely support to take education forward as it holds the key to a better world for all of us.
Leading daily, Dawn’s, senior journalist, Muhammad Saleem Mubarak, shared his personal anecdotes in reporting for education that requires passion and commitment to do a good story. “Let’s transcend beyond the beat assignments and play our part in the emerging new narrative on every child’s right to education and schools with basic facilities.” He reiterated that in this digital age, it is so easy (for journalists) to depict the plight of schools in the true spirit of today’s “Media for Education” workshop.
A lively session of workshop which the participants rated highly related to “Community Voices” as it offered an opportunity for interaction with community leaders and school teachers. Mr. Abdul Razzaq, member Community Committee for School Infrastructure (CCSI), talked about the enabling environment that Humqadam is striving to build to facilitate better oversight of school construction and rehabilitation. “The process of engagement in school construction has given me a deep sense of affinity. I have personally invested in every brick [at the construction site].”
Ms. Kausar Parveen, Principal Government Girls Higher Secondary School, explained how one of the dangerous school buildings has been replaced. With 26 new classrooms, and 25 toilets, Ms. Kausar shared parents’ and teachers’ joy at the provision of quality classrooms. “Humqadam,” she remarked, “is a part of our school team and family.”
In the latter part of the workshop, participants divided into four groups on print, radio, television, and social media. They quickly agreed on a districtwide approach to play an active role in highlighting the need for improved school infrastructure and creating awareness for active community engagement.