KARACHI - While no official delegation, at ministerial level, from Pakistan represented at the 17th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (CCEM), 26 civil society members and education professionals attended the stakeholders panels as well as the vice chancellor forums and got the Commonwealth Good Practice Awards. Saeedul Hassan represented Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) public trust, a national level institution, at the conference with a submission on Drop in Centres for child labour and vulnerable children. Two rigorously contested awards were won by ITA Pakistan along with Mauritius and Malaysia. The awards 2009 were presented by Malaysias Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Muhammad. Yassin, Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General, Ransford Smith and the President of the National Union of the Teaching Profession, Lt (r) Hashim Adnan. The pan-Commonwealth adjudication panel, which comprised of members from Jamaica, Malaysia, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, United Kingdom, Uganda and Zambia described all submissions as high standard and worthy of being winners by virtue of having been selected from nearly 50 education good practices from across the Commonwealth. The awards highlight good practice in education throughout the Commonwealth according to six action areas: achieving universal primary education; eliminating gender disparities in education; improving quality in education; using distance learning to overcome barriers; supporting education in difficult circumstances; and mitigating the impact of HIV/AIDS on education systems. The ceremony also marked the inauguration of the Steve Sinnott Award for Commonwealth teachers. The finalist, whose good practice was deemed as having made a positive difference to the status, condition or professional development of the teaching profession in the Commonwealth, was a DFID Global Schools Partnerships project from the British Council, United Kingdom. This year at the request of the Ministry of Education, Malaysia, three special awards were given for good practices in the action areas of achieving quality education and delivering education in difficult circumstances. The winners were: Mauritius - Ministry of Education, Culture and Human Resources: From Individual to Community: Quality Teaching in Mauritius. Pakistan - Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) Public Trust: Addressing the Vulnerable through Quality learning and protection - Drop-in Centres for Rag Pickers and Child Domestic Labour (CDL). Malaysia - Sabah State Education Department: Accelerating and Enhancing the Teaching and Learning Process through Buddy Stops.