Peshawar – 26 March, 2014 – “Education is the only key to reduce terrorism in the country. The future of Pakistan depends on the immediate education reforms and conflict in Dera Ismail Khan recede journalists freedom. It’s time to take effective steps for making our educational system better, and it can be done only if all the stake holders including government, academia, media and civil society should focus in Education.” This was the consensus at the ILM-o-AGAHI education journalism workshop held for journalists of Dera Ismail Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, today.
The ILM-o-AGAHI, one day workshop was organized by Mishal Pakistan in collaboration with
Ilm Ideas (a 3 year UKaid funded program). More than thirty education reporters of Dera Ismail Khan (KPK) from all leading media entities, from print, television, radio and online journalism, were selected for the workshop.
Prof. Dr. Zafar Iqbal, Chairman of Media Sciences, National University of Science and Technology, Islamabad, urged upon that to make education as their top priority of reporting. It is important to report on terrorism and insurgency in KPK, but to fight it off and report terrorism from their areas, promotion of education is the great significance. The journalists have the great responsibility to report on education issues of their areas. It is more like investigating issue of education as hardly education itself generates news.
Asif Farooqui, Program Manager, ILM-o-AGAHI, while discussing the salient features of the initiative said that, a learning platform for journalists on education would be developed as a ready reference for journalists working on education related issues. He further said, “Mishal is also introducing special categories on education journalism in the upcoming annual journalism “AGAHI Awards 2014” to promote education journalism in Pakistan.”
Haroon ur Rasheed , ASER’s Pakistan representative, discussed ASER’s findings on education with the Journalists during the session. He said according to the Annual Status of Education Report – ASER 2013 National Survey, that 12.7 % children have no access to school between the age of 5-16 years.
“Dera Ismail Khan is considered one of the worst areas in terms of the enrolment levels standing at 87.3% enrolment for 6-16 year old children and 12.7% children currently are out of school. Gender gaps do exist in the FATA, ratio of boys and girls in both government and private schools are 70% & 30% and 59% & 41% respectively.”
Through the ILM-o-AGAHI initiative, 18 education journalism workshops will be held across Pakistan for education reporters to increase their capacity and improve the coverage on education issues in media. In each workshop, more than 30 education reporters will be selected to enhance their capacity to report on identified educational challenges and issues to improve understanding and skills among journalists to capture community’s perspective and voice including children’s voice.
Mishal Pakistan is the partner institute of the Center for International Media Ethics and the Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Networks of the World Economic Forum. Mishal assists the forum in creating soft-data on Pakistan, identifying Pakistan’s competitiveness challenges including primary health & education and higher education.
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