It is evident that extracurricular activities play a major role in children’s personality development and improved academic performance. Therefore, a good schooling system inculcates such activities as compulsory to promote students’ participation in order to develop life skills and academic knowledge.
To promote such programs, Sindh Community Mobilization Program (CMP) is already engaged with School Management Committees (SMCs) to address demand-side barriers to education by increasing social awareness for enrollment and retention of students. The concept of organizing “Taleemi Mela,” or education fairs, goes a step further to promote a modern education system in schools by engaging schools, communities, parents and SMCs. To date, CMP has put on five Taleemi Mela at schools in Dadu, Jacobabad, Khairpur, Larkana and Qamber Shahdadkot District, drawing 4,437 participants including 2,802 male and 1,635 female attendees.
The main objective of organizing Taleemi Mela was to increase engagement and parents’ motivation to send their children to school. Taleemi Mela show parents that school is the best place to offer positive activities that spur children’s personality development, and that school provides a platform for students and teachers to enhance their thematic knowledge and skill development. The activity was strategically organized at the school level, enabling other surrounding schools to also participate and giving preference to schools representing both girls and boys. SMCs, communities and parents were also engaged for more robust support.
CMP organized Taleemi Mela events for practical demonstrations of topics, concepts and ideas that students learn in different subjects. During the education fairs, students of primary grades set up stalls of arts and crafts, drawings and handicrafts while students of secondary grades displayed models related to social studies, science, physics and biology subjects and presented these models to the visitors. Besides stalls, students were also engaged in different activities and competitions, including debate, speeches, performing arts, quizzes, theatre and role plays on challenges to and the importance of girls’ education. Participating students and competition-winning children received recognition and encouragement from all stakeholders. In Qamber Shahdadkot, district administration helped CMP in organizing the event.
Overall, the education fairs were well received by schools and district administration, community, parents and students. Taleemi Mela were considered an innovative idea to showcase the children’s talents and earn the trust of parents and community members.
Watch a video highlighting the event below:
CMP is a USAID-funded program that supports the Government of Sindh’s education reform and USAID’s Sindh Basic Education Program. CMP improves school resources and encourages community support for educational reform in Sindh province while identifying and addressing primary barriers to access, particularly for female students.