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Education is becoming an extremist battleground in Pakistan

The Washington Post – Tahir Andrabi and Asim Ijaz Khwaja

“The one year anniversary commemorations of the heinous attack on a Peshawar public school were barely over when gunmen once again went from classroom to classroom killing students and staff at a Pakistani university nearby. The sickening attack confirmed that the Taliban is waging a carefully considered ideological war in Pakistan — and the nation’s more than 200,000 public and private schools are now at the front lines. In doing so, they are attacking the one area of Pakistani society where there is clear reason for optimism, as the growth of low-cost private schools in recent decades has given more and more young people, particularly girls, access to education…Protecting more than 30 million children spread across thousands of locations is not something the security forces can accomplish by themselves…Ordinary citizens must affirm by their beliefs, words, and actions in everyday life that they recognize the danger that resides among them.”(more)

Play Hard, Live Free: Where Wild Play Still Rules

NPR – Eric Westervelt

“There are only a handful of these “wild playgrounds” in the country. They embrace the theory that free, unstructured play is vital for children and offer an antidote to the hurried lifestyles, digital distractions and overprotective parents that can leave children few opportunities to really cut loose. “It’s really central that kids are able to take their natural and intense play impulses and act on them,” says Stuart Brown, a psychologist and the founding director of the National Institute for Play. Children need an environment with “the opportunity to engage in open, free play where they’re allowed to self-organize,” he adds. “It’s really a central part of being human and developing into competent adulthood.” Brown says this kind of free-range fun is not just good; it’s essential. Wild play helps shape who we become, he says, and it should be embraced, not feared. Some educators advocate “dangerous play,” which they say helps kids become better problem solvers.”(more)

Will The Taliban Attack Make Parents Afraid To Send Kids To School?

NPR – Marc Silver

“Last week, the Taliban attacked the Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan, killing more than 140 people, most of them schoolchildren. In a country where only 57 percent of elementary-school age children attend school, how will this massacre affect efforts to bring more youngsters into class?…For insights, we turned to Madiha Afzal, who grew up in the city of Lahore. She is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy and a non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institution…People may be very scared to send their kids to school, but if the government tells them it’s ok, they’ll send kids to school…It sounds cliché to say it, but they really just want their kids to be educated. People in Pakistan are very brave, really attached to the idea of a good education.”(more)

Better Education and Girls’ Rights in Pakistan Start Now

The Huffington Post – Sarah Brown

“Amid the sadness and sorrows of a summer where children’s rights have been ignored, neglected, and trampled upon in the world’s conflict zones, there is a glimmer of hope. In the Pakistan province of Sindh, child marriage has been outlawed…Ending child marriages is one way of ensuring girls get the education they deserve…” (more)

Learn Chinese to get a job!

Pakistan Today – Staff Writer

“Pakistan-China Institute Chairman Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed has said that to capture the huge job market in projects related to Pak-China Economic Corridor, Pakistani youth and varsities must obtain benefit from Online Chinese Language classes offered by Pakistan-China Institute.” (more)