1st ever Sujawal STEAM Learning Festival attracts three districts of Laar 

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The speakers at the different sessions of the second day of the three-day Sujawal Youth STEAM Learning Festival stressed for changing patriarchal norms will play instrumental role in bringing gender equality in education system. 

Discussing ‘Super Women : Gender Gap in STEAM education SDG 4, 5 and Widening GPI’ Sidra Sadozai emphasized the irreplaceable role of mothers, asserting that the children showcasing their talents at festivals owe their presence to the support of their mothers. She advocated for encouraging the participation of women in all aspects of life to foster integrity.

Makal Shah, hailing from a Syed family, broke societal taboos by entering the development sector in 2004. Despite facing obstacles preventing her from attending university due to stereotypes, she became the sole woman in her family to contribute to this field, undeterred by hindrances.

Advocating for inclusive education, she stressed the need to eliminate gender-based segregation in schools, emphasizing the importance of creating an environment that encourages participation from all genders to bridge the gender gap.

Sonal Dhanani highlighted the positive impact of women leadership in schools on increasing girls’ enrollment. She urged the government to design strategies and advocacy to update curricula for STEM learning, praising the projects showcased by girls in festivals, which deserve appreciation and can encourage more participation in STEM fields.

Kapil Dev praised Dr. Soomar Khoso’s exemplary work in a remote village but acknowledged challenges in schools, emphasizing the need for qualified teachers and advanced facilities. He raised concerns about the lack of security and demand for girls’ education, advocating for increased female representation in policy-making and leadership roles. “Changing patriarchal norms will play instrumental role in bringing gender equality in education system,” he added.

Khushboo shed light on the challenges in sending girls to schools in remote areas, proposing a strategy akin to polio vaccination workers going door-to-door. She suggested that government initiatives should actively promote girl education, engaging with communities to overcome societal barriers.

In a discussion on ‘jobs of tomorrow? Be your own boss. Are we preparing our students?’ Hameed Dipali highlighted that there is still no concept of career counseling in the school framework. Children lack exposure to various fields and the job market because our education system is unaware of market demands. Consequently, youngsters often fall short of meeting job criteria due to a lack of practical knowledge.

Yaqub Pechi added that our mindset still revolves around government jobs, and we need to empower our young cadre to take risks and foster entrepreneurial growth. Schools themselves fail to encourage students to pursue business or startup ventures.

Sidra Sadozai pointed out the existence of a class system in our community. Those with resources can opt for private schools, while another class struggles for access to government schools. We lack a unified option, and our industries have filters favoring high-ranking universities, leaving the public sector education sector struggling to meet the demand.

She emphasized the need for policy reform to establish a one-window education mechanism. This would enable children to access opportunities without facing discrimination.

Raja Sharma suggests that upon graduating from a university, individuals seeking employment may encounter challenges as industries often require prior experience. To address this, fresh graduates are advised to pursue job opportunities to gain valuable experience. The lack of job prospects in certain disciplines can create insecurity among recent graduates, contributing to a gap in their professional development.

Advocate Omer Gul Buriro moderated a diverse and interactive discussion on the orientation of UNCRC Articles, featuring children as speakers. The children emphasized that parents should listen to them, addressing their queries and facilitating learning. They highlighted the importance of responsive communication for children’s growth and learning.

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