Charsadda was the setting of a unique gathering, where the district’s media connected with the different stakeholders of the education landscape. Drawing on the three successful District Media Sensitisation Workshops in Faislabad, Mardan and Sialkot, the Charsadda edition was geared towards bridging the gap between the media, the district education office-bearers and the community.
Young and senior journalists from print, electronic and social media of Charsadda District participated in the workshop and engaged in a meaningful conversation on education infrastructure and the importance of wider community involvement. Also present was District Education Officer for Charsadda, Mr. Siraj Muhammad, who briefed the gathered media and community members on the ongoing educational reform activities in the district and Humqadam’s important contribution to it.
“Currently we’re getting millions of rupees through conditional grants for the improvement of schools; building additional classrooms, rehabilitating existing infrastructure and provision of missing facilities, like electricity, boundary walls and drinking water. To do this we are involving Parent Teacher Councils (PTC) and the community in a way that has never been seen before,” said Mr. Siraj Muhammad.
“Our focus is on the out-of-school children. The school education department will soon be launching another enrolment campaign. But unlike enrolment drives in the past, this time community members (parents, community elders etc.) will also be involved. The transformation in environment that Humqadam has brought about in our schools will lend great support to these efforts, and now children will not only enroll but also stay in school.”
Despite being a small district, local media in Charsadda is vibrant and growing rapidly. The gathered media professionals all agreed that the media has an agenda-setting role to play to bring much needed focus towards the state of education in the district. The participants devised an actionable plan to take practical steps for improved education reporting on a priority basis. Senior journalists committed to rising above political and organisational affiliations to raise society’s collective voice for substantive improvements in educational outcomes.
Charsadda is one of 6 districts in KP where Australian Aid and DFID-assisted Humqadam-SCRP is rehabilitating existing school infrastructure, constructing additional classrooms and providing essential missing facilities at schools. In Charsadda, Humqadam is working in 116 primary, secondary and higher secondary schools. Work has already been completed at 44 schools, with the direct and essential involvement of the community.