LAHORE - Speakers at a convention have highlighted the importance of rich contribution of parents and educationists to making learning fun.

During Pakistan’s first-ever series of symposia on early education, trends and future path at the Royal Palm & Country Club on Saturday, experts provided parents a chance to learn how to support the work of learning specialists. They discussed the learning needs at the most critical period of learning and development for a child.

Learning and child development experts, leading practitioners, educationists in the field and parents joined hands to raise awareness on the importance of early learning and development for future generations in Pakistan. The City School (TCS), a pioneer and highly-regarded thought leader in early years education, has organised Pakistan’s first-ever series of symposia across the country.

Centre for Trauma Research and Psychosocial Interventions director general Prof Dr Mowadat Hussain Rana, head of Child Rights Department Prof Dr Naeem Zafar, ceramic and pottery artist Sheherzade Alam, educators Irum Yousuf, Fiona Hallworth, Tina Hameed, Kim Langen, Basarat Midhat, TV anchor Umer Saud and others shared their knowledge with the gathering.

Suggesting quality care and learning environment for children, Dr Mowadat said that the children must achieve the early learning goals inside the educational institutions. He asked the strong audience to reflect on how important it is to understand how children see the world. Amongst distinguished attendees were illustrious child specialists from different academic backgrounds.

On the occasion, Dr Naeem asked the federal and the provincial governments to include child protection clauses in the (job) contact of every teacher. “We also need protection for our children both inside and outside of the educational institutions, like any other part of the world,” he said, pointing out missing laws in this regard.

Six workshops were planned for the participants after the main plenary sessions to bring the attendees on board with the latest developments and innovations in the applied practices of the early years developments. These included, the inclusion of technology in 21st century education, parenting skills, high quality writing and storytelling to discuss how early years education develops self-esteem in young people and the ability to become independent learners.

The kindling of the spirit of learning in developing minds was elaborated through techniques on building a child’s self-esteem, the use of effective storytelling as a tool of learning, enhancing creative writing skills, the role of parents with polished parenting skills and unboxing the tools of creative learning to enhance a child’s creativity. With practical application, the use of these tools was discussed by professionals in the field, making the symposia an exciting learning opportunity for the parents as well.

Practical strategies, insightful tips and professional resource networking remained the key elements of the event as the participants shared, reflected and discussed their understanding of the practices in the early years’ education. The symposium provided early childhood professionals with the tools, resources and support they need to further develop their expertise and contribution in lives of the children.

Through a combination of presentations, keynote addresses and Q&A workshops, the symposium inspired the participants, especially parents to critically reflect upon the big questions that affect everyone in the field of early childhood education. The attendees vowed to make learning fun for children and anticipated the school would make such symposia a regular activity for parents across Pakistan.