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The second annual Children's Literature Festival (CLF) in Pakistan is taking place on September 12-13. CLF 2012 intends to reprise the success of CLF 2011, the first national literary festival for children ever. It was founded by Ameena Saiyid, Managing Director of Oxford University Press in Pakistan, and Baela Raza Jamil, Director of Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) or the Center of Education and Consciousness, with the purpose of advocating reading across the country.
The development of reading, writing and critical thinking skills of children are the primary focus. The CLF is designed to entice children to engage in discussions and book reviews while they learn about book writing/making and experience literature through performance (puppet shows, music, and theatre). Educators are also invited to attend sessions on promoting mother tongue learning, the need and power of libraries, and creative and alternative teaching methods to engage and stimulate the students.
This year, CLF will be held in two cities, first in Quetta this week, and next in Peshawar on November 14-15, in order to reach children and educators on as large a scope as possible. As a woman of Pakistani descent, I am excited to see such initiative and vision emerge and take shape the way this pursuit has. I look forward with anticipation to the growth in the literary heritage of Pakistan as a result.