Association for Water, Applied Education & Renewable Energy- AWARE is an indigenous NGO (non-government organization) registered under Societies Registration Act 1860 and is working in arid and semi-arid areas of District Tharparkar and Umerkot in Sindh province since 2003.AWARE is ever cautious and keeps a hawkish eye over the all-emerging issues, concerns, problems and difficulties.

By: Farhat Ferry

AWARE is currently implementing the project with the support of Terre Dess Hommes- TDH “Fighting poverty in drought-affected communities by improving education, health, and promoting site-appropriate agriculture through the use of renewable energy’’.

In line with the theme of the project, AWARE Tharparkar Team celebrated World Teachers’ Day, also known as International Teachers Day. It is an internationally celebrated day held annually on 5th October to commemorate the important role of the teachers. World Teachers’ Day aims to focus on “appreciating, assessing and improving the educators of the world” and to provide an opportunity to consider issues related to teachers and teaching. The theme of World Teachers’ Day 2021 was ‘Teachers at the heart of education recovery’.

The day was celebrated in Thar with an aim to recognize the tireless efforts of teachers in Thar who continued the stud y lessons and ensured minimal disruption to pupils’ learning over the course of the pandemic. The objective of celebrating the said day was to highlight the contributions and achievements of education workers in Thar, as well as draw attention to the problems faced by the teachers’ in performing their work.

The day was celebrated to pay tribute to the teachers of village Arnoro Tobario District Tharparkar. Teachers are providing the power of knowledge and education and creating possibilities for better future amidst the pandemic challenge. Teachers in Tharparkar are facing a tough time in keeping students self-directed. The teachers are playing key role in helping students cope with the pressures posed due to the COVID-19 Situation. The teachers’ role in keeping the students interested in education and making sure that lessons are learnt and homework delivered in time, that too despite COVID-19 restrictions. Teachers have the extra added pressure of having students put in the extra effort outside of the classroom. Teachers are ever- looking for a ways to make studies interesting for the students.

 Continuous droughts and subsequent migration every year are the major factors behind the decline of education system in Thar. As per official data, out of 4,100 schools 3,900 were deprived of basic facilities of teaching staff, furniture, drinking water, fans and toilets. The literacy rate among the women is alarming. Government needs declare an education emergency in Thar to educate the future mothers, if they are sincere to save Tharis from further devastation. Tharis, particularly low-caste minorities, are living under extreme poverty and political wilderness. Many of the villages, having large populations, had not been provided with the basic facilities of health and education. In some villages the villagers are willing to send their children to schools if proper arrangements are available for a quality education.

The event was meticulously planned by AWARE. A local teacher Mr. Hashim Samejo in his speech spoke on the inherent qualities to be a successful teacher and thanked AWARE for organizing this event he further added it is the duty of a teacher to teach children, but when these children grow up and become responsible people, our hearts are filled with pride. All teachers cheered and motivated their colleagues with a wide smile. Another teacher Meghandas in his speech stated that events which give a platform for the teachers to display their innate talents need to be formed and encouraged. He appreciated the efforts put in by the teachers but at the same time urged the teachers to gear up to face the changing demands of the education world. He added that a teacher is most important for any country as only he/she can give a better citizen in future. Moreover he appreciated AWARE’s efforts by stating “you made me feel amazingly special when I received appreciation gift from my teacher. Thank you very much for all of the efforts that went into choosing such a wonderful celebration”. The program included speeches, poems, quiz competition between girls and boys a comedy skit presented by students of class V, and a song thanking the teachers which was sung by students of class IV. Appreciation certificate were distributed to teachers. The students gave their teachers hand- made greeting cards, to thank their teachers for their un-tiring efforts. All the participants applauded and the students cheered for their teachers. The event ended with the recitation of the National Anthem.