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LAHORE, June 20: A large number of civil society organisations’ representatives as well as underprivileged children staged a walk and a protest demonstration on Wednesday at Liberty Roundabout against corporal punishment in schools.

They under the banner of Child Rights Movement (CRM) and Pakistan Coalition for Education chanted slogans against the corporal punishment practices in schools and demanded that the government strictly implement the corporal punishment prohibition law.

The protesters led by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi Programme Director Dr Baela Raza Jamil were holding banners and placards bearing inscriptions ‘Not torture but education needed’, ‘Maar nahin Piyar’, ‘Corporal punishment shatters confidence of a child’ and ‘Stop physical and psychological torture on children at home and school’.

Children from different schools, labourers’ children and street children also participated in the protest demonstration.

Dr Jamil said the protest walk stood as a symbol of civil society’s condemnation of the recent incidents of physical and psychological harassment of children that forced them to commit suicide.

Alif Laila Book Bus Society, Sanjog, AGHS and GODH representatives participated in the protest.

SAFED: The South Asian Forum for Education Development (SAFED) on Wednesday began its Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) campaign with tool review with partner organizations such as the National Commission for Human Development, National Education Assessment System and Sindh Education Foundation.

Up to 22 partner organizations’ representatives reviewed the ASER survey tools and made certain amendments to assess 5-16 years age children’s competency level in English, Urdu, Sindhi, Pushto and mathematics up to Class-II level curriculum.

Dr Jamil said this year, for the first time, SAFED would assess children’s learning levels in all 144 districts/ agencies across the country.

She stressed that this nation-wide survey could only be done through collective efforts of all partners as no individual organization could handle such a massive activity single handedly.