there are many crucial aspects of life that
cannot be neglected. Think, for example,
of the tens of thousands of children who
have had their homes and schools crumble
These children, more than anyone, will
need education to help them come to terms
with the terrible trauma they have undergone.
If they are left in the wilderness without
support, their future looks bleak.
The School of Tomorrow: Learning to Live
Again will come up with clear and pragmatic
suggestions as to what can be done for the
education of these children.
There is both a short- and long-term dimension
While the wider relief effort gets underway,
we must assess what is to become of the
children’s education. One possibility
is to implement ‘Schools Without Walls’.
This concept is becoming increasingly popular,
and many see within it the seeds of an education
system of the future. Are there ways to
implement this system to benefit those children
whose schools have been destroyed?
The earthquake revealed the shaky foundations
underneath many of the structures in the
north of Pakistan. In the schools that saw
tragedy with children trapped inside we
were brought face to face with the deathly
implications of this complacency. As we
rebuild the area, we must ensure that schools
in particular are built to withstand earthquakes
of the future.
Leading architect Gulzar Haider will explain
how this is practically possible without
spending unreasonable amounts. There are
traditional, tried and tested systems for
building to withstand earthquakes. These
will be described clearly, to pave the way
for a more secure future.
With the long-term perspective in mind,
it is crucial that we do not stumble into
the process of reconstruction. Rather we
must endeavour to forge a vision that will
guide us in the coming months. This is true
in all aspects of reconstruction, but is
particularly acute when it comes to education.
The future of tens of thousands of children
is at stake.
Many of the areas worst affected by the
quake were places which have been neglected
for too long. The educational standards
were often not up the standard that the
people there deserve. There is now a fresh
We must take this chance to think of what
the future of education in these areas should
involve. How can we bring quality standards
to these areas? In short, how can we bring
a vision of hope to a land that has been
brought to the brink of despair.
The enormity of the task is not only a
burden, it is an opportunity to uplift neglected
communities. The School of Tomorrow: Learning
to Live Again conference will start the
process of forging this vision.