Few days ago, there was a panel discussion activity in introduction to civil society course. As it was compulsory for all the students, I had to play a role in panel discussion with some of my friends by making a group. Our panel discussion topic was all about children rights to education. As we know that education is one of the fundamental rights of every human being and the proper time for education is early childhood. But unfortunately it is true that many children around world are deprived of their rights to education. A survey reported that almost 70 million children across the world are prevented from going to school every day because of so many reasons. As we know achievement of universal primary education is one of the UN millennium development goals. To achieve this goal what are steps already taken and going to take by family, government, CSOs and even UNICEF we tried to summarize these through our panel discussion.
During our panel discussion, our panelists were taking about the role and steps taken by these four sectors to promote children rights to education. Humdun was talking about the role of families. He mentioned that parents needs to be more conscious about their children education. Ali was taking about the role of civil society organizations. He stated that CSOs are taking so many steps for promoting children rights to education. For example, free education, free book, and recreational activities etc. Jahid was taking about the steps taken by UNICEF to ensure children rights to education. He mentioned that UNICEF are collaborating with CSOs and government to promote children rights to education. I myself was talking about the role and steps taken by government including ‘SHRVA SHIKSHA ABBHIYYAN” in India, BISP in Pakistan etc. And Imran was our moderator who was responsible for controlling and beautifying this discussion. Although there were some agreements and disagreements between us but at the end of our discussion we came up with a good clarification.
Once in one of our tutorial class we made our group with the help of our lecturer. During the class time whenever we were discussing about the topic of panel discussion one of our group member proposed some topics such as poverty, women empowerment, children rights to education, human rights and so on. Someone suggested to discuss on poverty but others proposed women empowerment. Before choosing the topic our sagacious teacher Mr. John britto had given us a very inclusive instruction about these topics. After discussing few minutes we selected children rights to education as our panel discussion topic.
On the same day, we selected the role of each member. We were five members in our group. I myself, Jahid and Mohammed Ali from Bangladesh, Humdun from Kenya and Imran. Imran took the part of moderator and others were panelists. The panelists decided to take their role independently. Jahid preferred to discuss the role of UNICEF. My part was discussing the role of government. Ali and humdun preferred to talk about the role of CSOs and family. After that there was needed to call for meeting for rehearsal and it happened when everyone would be free. Generally the meeting was called by moderator with the agreement of all members. During the time of our rehearsal someone would suggest another one to improve the discussion points and develop the speech. Actually there were so many suggestions to modify the points and ways of discussion and all the members were very serious about that because team work is very important for successful panel discussion. Another thing was that everybody was very friendly of our group. That is why there were no disagreements and conflicts between us.
During our panel discussion we were very careful about our time because for every member the time was five minutes. Although some panelists were taking less than five minutes but it was supposed to fulfill by others and we finished our discussion within thirty minutes. In my point of view, the quality of presentation of all the panelists was overall good because the answers and questions were predetermined. If I talk about Jahid he was really good. Ali was also good. In case of Humdun his presentation was good but his pronunciation needed to be clearer and for me I know that I am not a good speaker but I tried my best to present my part. Even the role of moderator was very active. He organized our discussion very effectively that made our discussion successful.
Learning and reflection
In addition, during the time of our panel discussion the audience was very quiet and listening our discussion but when we finished our discussions questions and answer session was opened. Some spontaneous questions were asked by the audience in every corner of the class. Some Students are asking about some points that we discussed before for more clarification and we were able to give them logical answers.
Actually, it was one of the best experiences of my life. It has taught me so many things especially now I know how to discuss a specific topic in front of audience, how to organize a panel discussion and how to answer the spontaneous questions asked by the audience and of course the effective time management. I strongly believe that this situation will make me more sensible on effective time management. Therefore, in my upcoming like when I will do any project, this experience will help me for doing the project management effectively because better project management depends on proper time management, proper planning, proper organizations and spontaneous discussion.
Above all, Education is the backbone of a nation and children are our future generations. We know that child education rate is very poor especially in developing countries and it is because of so many reasons. And achieving universal primary education is a long term goal and not easy task because poverty is the main difficulty for us but if these for sectors work together one day it might be possible to ensure education for every child. And we are waiting for that shinning day.
References http://razvimirza.blogspot.com/2011/07/steps-taken-by-indian-government-to.html http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_steps_taken_by_the_Indian_government_to_promote_education www.nise.go.jp/kenshuka/josa/kankobutsu/pub_d/d…/d-292_10.pdf www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/docs/…/CRC-C-BGD-5_en.pdf