Khatoon-e-Pakistan Government Girls School hosted an impressive Open Day this weekend featuring an Art Show, a Science Exhibition and a tribute to Urdu poetry. Visitors to the Open Day included parents, advocates of public art, students from neighbouring private schools and colleges, teachers from partner schools, volunteers and passersby from the neighbourhood.
The art show featured models of the seven wonders of the world, replicas of ancient Egyptian mummies, jewelry made from recycled magazines, interpretations of Mona Lisa in different cultures, zentangle drawings and more by students from Class 1 and up. Projects and models of environmental pollution, risks to health and hygiene, everyday science experiments and a projector and light show were some of the highlights of the Science Exhibition. Also on display was "Urdu apnay mizaaj mai" - a creative tribute to Urdu literature in the form of a running mushaira by students in the costumes of famous poets and writers such as Ghalib, Mir Taqi Mir, Amir Khusro and Sir Syed Ahmed Khan.
Visitors to the exhibition remarked that they could not believe they were at a government school. Ambareen Thompson from I am Karachi expressed a desire to collaborate with the school's art students on a public art project and art teachers from Dawood Public School were also keen for a student exchange. Other private school teachers and parents, were blown away by the display as well as the confidence and understanding of the students.
"I had no idea my children were so talented," exclaimed Mussarat Jahan, all four of whose daughters are students at the school. "I feel a sense of wonder and awe looking at the beautiful art created by all the students."
Khatoon-e-Pakistan Government Girls School is managed by Zindagi Trust under their School Reform project. One of the project's core features is a strong art program, led by Anam Shakil Khan, who aims to introduce students to the arts to help discover and hone their talents and interests and develop them into well-rounded citizens. The trust also works to enable and encourage the school's government teachers to make learning fun and relevant, e.g. through project-based learning in science.
"I'm delighted to see that our children are thinking critically about current issues from plastics and pollution to recycling and composting but also studying art history," said Shehzad Roy, founder and President of Zindagi Trust. "We want our students to explore everything so that they don't just get good at taking exams but also become the kind of well-rounded citizens that Pakistan needs today."
The school teaches art and crafts to students from Kindergarten to Class 9, aiming to introduce every child to a variety of basic and advanced techniques, different mediums, international and Pakistani art history, current local artists and art as an experience. In addition to weekly classes, students attend talks by guest speakers, visit art galleries and museums; create and experience public art through murals, and so on. In the future, the school plans to expand on the outreach of its art program beyond the annual exhibition - through community interaction, events such as inter-school art competitions or joint public art ventures across the city.
This is the second school adopted by us after a successful turnaround of SMB Fatima Jinnah Government Girls School where students regularly shine in city-wide competitions in football, chess, science, scrabble and more.