EHSAS Quality Education Project

Kashmir level co-curricular competitions bring public sector schools back into the limelight

EHSAS Project leaves behind a legacy of learning and commitment

Sohaib Rumi and Isma Tahir clinched top positions in two main categories of All Kashmir Co-curricular Competitions, held under the auspices of EHSAS Quality Education Project of Human Appeal at Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir.

The event witnessed students of different public sector high and higher secondary schools competing with each others in the realms of public speaking and creative writing. The participants had made their ways to the competition by clearing the first two milestones: cluster and regional level competitions.

Sohaib earned first position in public speaking, leaving behind an indelible impact of his extraordinary oratory skills. A student of Government Boys High School Hari Ghel, he received standing ovation from the audience for his scintillating performance.

Isma Tahir, on the other hand, was unanimously declared as the best writer, prompting the judges to declare her the find of the competition. She belonged to Gurah Kanjal, Mirpur, and demonstrated amazing skills in story writing, fiction and calligraphy.

Top three position holders in the categories of speaking and writing were awarded with special certificates, shields and cash prizes, respectively.

The event also marked the formal closure of EHSAS Quality Education Project. Launched in collaboration with the government of Azad Kashmir, the project aimed at personal and professional development of students and teachers alike to bring public sector schools in Kashmir at par with their counterparts. It benefitted over 100,000 students and 12,000 teachers, apart from raising a whole lot of 2,300 education trainers in Azad Kashmir.

The project set off a new culture of learning at public sector schools and was thoroughly appreciated by concerned circles, including print and electronic media.

Public Speaking: List of winners

Sr# Position Student Name School Name Cluster Region
1 1st Sohaib Roomi GBHS HARI GHEL Bangoin Poonch
2 2nd Waheed Saleem GBHS Barali DhanwanGoi Mirpur
3 3rd Ariba Kazmi GGHS GujarBandi Hattian Muzaffarabad

Writers Competitions: List of winners

Sr# Position Student Name Student Name School Name Cluster Region
1 1st Isma Talib Sawera Afzal GGHS Gurah Kanjal Bhimber Mirpur
2 2nd Muqdus Kosur Kanwal rani GGHS Mohra kanial Check Sawari Mirpur
3 3rd Zerafshan Murtaza Rimsha Pervaiz GGHS Khunder Nikyal Nikyal Muirpur

EHSAS co-curricular competitions infuse a new life in public sector schools in AJK

Students enthrall audience with their speaking and writing skills

Regional level co-curricular competitions among the students of public sector high and higher secondary schools of Azad Kashmir culminated at the capital city Muzaffarabad. Girls outshined boys and set new bars in the realms of declamations and development of wall magazines. Seizing the opportunity with both hands, the students of public sector schools, no more known for quality education and encouraging environment, stunned the audience with their amazing declamation and story-telling skills, art work and production of wall magazines. It was first ever in the history of Azad Kashmir that students of all public sector schools were involved in such co-curricular competitions.

The competitions were held under the auspices of EHSAS Quality Education Project, initiated by Human Appeal International (HAI) in collaboration with the government of Azad Kashmir at 772 high and higher secondary schools in the area. They were divided into three phases namely Cluster Level, Regional Level and Azad Kashmir Level.

The schools were divided into 42 clusters, each one of them comprising 18 schools. Top three positions holders of the competitions at this level made their way to the regional level competitions. The regions comprise Muzaffarabad, Mirpur and Poonch. The winners of regional level completions qualified for the the grand competition to be held at Muzaffarabad, with prime minister of AJK Raja Farooq Haider gracing the occasion as chief guest.

The winners of the competitions at different levels were rewarded with hefty cash prizes, certificates.

Initiated last year, the project was aimed at personal and promotional development of students and teachers alike across Azad Kashmir in an attempt to bring public sector schools in the area at par with the private sector quality institutes. It benefitted over 100,000 students and 12,000 teachers, apart from raising a whole lot of 2,300 education trainers in Azad Kashmir.

An endevor to revive co-curricular activities at AJK schools

Orientation session held with top officials

Taking the education department of Azad Kashmir on board before formally launching EHSAS Quality Education Project at public sector schools, a special orientation session was organized at Islamabad.

Top officials of the education department including DPIs, Divisional Directors (DDs), District Education Officers (DEOs) and Assistant Education Officers (AEOs) from all over Azad Kashmir participated in it and were uprised about various facets of the project and the targets set under it.

The participants expressed freely their views about the project and shared their input for the successful implementation of it on the ground. In a frank and open environment, they also shared their concern about dwindling standards of education at public sector schools, with co-curricular activities getting scant, if any, attention at them.

Secretary Education AJK government Raja Muhammad Abbas in his key note address ruthlessly examined the festering issues in education sector in AJK and wondered that public-private sector partnership held the key to salvage the situation. While appreciating the HAI for taking the initiative, he hoped that it would trigger a new culture of learning at schools, with co-curricular activities such as speaking, writing and reading regaining their due status.

He also underlined that the project would go a long way in developing students as multi-tasked personalities, fully capable of meeting modern day challenges and hardships. While appreciating the project and the targets set under it, he on behalf of his ministry assured an unconditional support to HAI in accomplishing the mutually agreed targets.

15 days training of MTs EHSAS Education Project concludes on high note

Catching limelight overnight owing to its uniqueness and outreach, the EHSAS Quality Education Project enters a new phase after the completion of a comprehensive training workshop for master trainers at Islamabad.

Renowned development expert and Project Director of Islamic Development Bank's (IDB) funded education projects in Azad Kashmir Zaheer Gardezi distributed certificates as chief guest among participants and applauded them for their commitment to reinvigorate co-curricular activities at public sector schools in Azad Kashmir. While referring to the forthcoming projects of IDB in Azad Kashmir, he wondered the HAI-Pak could be handy partner of the bank to implement them in letter and spirit.

Conducted by renowned trainer Akhtar Abbas, the training continued for 15 days and was participated by around 50 master trainers selected from different disciplines after a ruthless scrutiny. They represented three divisions of Azad Kashmir and were divided into three groups, headed by a Regional Coordinator, respectively.

The training revolved around two key themes: professional development of teachers and personality development of students. Through various activities and academic discussions, the participants were equipped with knowledge and skills to infuse a new motivation and dedication in public sector teachers to emerge as a true role model for students.

Similarly, the trainers were also imparted with various skills to inculcate basic values in students. In addition to this, they were also trained as how to help students make and run speakers, writers and readers clubs, respectively, and make the best use of them.

Each master trainer would hold training programs at a cluster of 17 schools put under his supervision and focus on teachers and students alike. He would also train at least three teachers at each school to ensure the sustainability of the project on long term basis.

Prior to the completion of the training, the participants also organized a cultural night in which various facets of the culture of Kashmir were highlighted. The participated also put to mirror the inherent flaws in the education system of Azad Kashmir through various skits and activities.

Country Director HAI-Pak Nisar Ahmad at the end thanked the participants for their dedication and commitment and reassured them of his continued support to engender a new culture of education at public sector schools in Azad Kashmir, characterized by sublime human values, professionalism and self-assurance in teachers and students alike.

Piloting Completed

The HAI-Pak has successfully completed the piloting of a project called EHSAS to revive and promote co-curricular activities at public sector schools in AJK. Launched In collaboration with the state government, project is expected to change the complexion of such schools and help them reemerge as a true set of learning.

The piloting of the EHSAS project was carried out at seven select schools in AJK. Different training sessions, aimed at promotion and sharpening of skills related to speaking, writing, conflict resolution, interpersonal relationships and interfaith harmony, were arranged which received a highly encouraging response from the participants.

Under the project, the HAI-Pak would provide extensive training to the teaching staff of 772 schools to help them meet pedagogical challenges. At least 12,000 teachers across AJK would benefit from the project over a period of two years under the tutelage of more than 2,300 master trainers, drawn from different disciplines.

The focus, however, would remain on 70,000 students of these schools to groom them as multi-tasked personalities. To sharpen writing skills of students, special writers clubs would be established which would bring out 3,000 wall magazines each month. A series of other programs and activities would also be arranged to encourage budding writers across AJK.

Yet another important component of the project would be to develop effective speaking skills in students. Well over 3000 activities would be arranged each month under the auspices of speakers clubs to empower students with skills and confidence, essentially important to face contemporary challenges.

The schools selected for piloting of the project belonged to Muzaffarabad, Poonch and Kotli regions of AJK such as Ali Akbar Awan High School, High School Dubben, Girls High School Luluchi, Boys High School Pothi Bala, Pilot High School Rawalakot, Boys High School khoiratta, Girls High School Khoiratta and Boys High School Roli.