Capacity-building talked to highlight academia’s woes

MIRPUR (AJK) (- Pakistan’s education and academia reporting within the industry is fairly weak. Alarming factors contributing to the knowledge deficit is the media’s limited exposure to real challenges being confronted by education sector in Pakistan and lack of relevant training in the media sector.
“Most of the issues related to education and literacy are being reported not in the right context; this not only undermines but also diminishes the importance of educational, training and child development challenges faced by the society.
Govt Degree College Mirpur Principal Dr Muhammad Arif Khan stated this while addressing the inaugural session of ILM-o-Agahi education journalism workshop held at Kasmir Press Club here the other day.
The ILM-o-AGAHI, one day workshop was organized by Mishal Pakistan in collaboration with Ilm Ideas (a 3 year UK funded-programme). More than 30 education reporters participated in the workshop.
Addressing the participants, Kashmir Press Club President Syed Abid Hussain Shah and senior Kashmiri journalist Altaf Hamid Rao expressed the hope, “the ILM-o-AGAHI initiative will help strengthen media institutions and create awareness on the education emergency. The initiative will facilitate sustainable literacy and educational development, providing children, especially the girl with a better access to educational facilities.
Senior Journalist Mubashir Zaidi conducted the training workshop and shared with the participants that, “more awareness amongst the general public on issues concerning quality and quantum of education in Pakistan was required. It is important to create dialogue on such issues fetching immediate attention of authorities and stakeholders concerned.
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. Zaheer Abbas, ASER Pakistan representative, discussed ASER’s findings on education in AJK with the Journalists during the session. He said according to the Annual Status of Education Report - ASER 2013 National Survey, fortunately, the percentage of out of school children, in AJK, is one of the lowest in the country, at 5%. However, despite this good news, the learning levels of the remaining 95% are not satisfactory.
Mishal Pakistan is the partner institute of the Centre for International Media Ethics and the Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Networks of the World Economic Forum.

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