Every year the Universal Children’s Day is celebrated throughout the world on the first Monday of October. This year the day will fall on 6th October. Pakistan Post Office is issuing a stamp of 20 Paisa denomination on the same day to commemorate the occasion.
Universal Children’s Day offers an unique opportunity to call public attention to the needs of the Children. The theme selected by the UNICEF and the International Union for Child Welfare for this year’s Universal Children’s Day is Train-ing personnel—To protect and prepare Children. Without sufficient number of trained adults to help them, Children’s right to protection and preparation can not be fully achieved. To meet this need the UNICEF (United Nations International Children Emergency Fund) has launched training programme all over the world covering all major services benefiting Children and young people—education, health, nutrition, social welfare etc.
Approximately three fourths of the world’s Children live in areas where the average income is less than $ 500 a year. In recent years UNICEF has been giving increasing attention to the human aspects of national development, primarily by helping developing countries create and improve their own training facilities. UNICEF has helped to equip over 14,500 educational and vocational training institutions ; 6,000 welfare institutions, 42,000 health centres and over 8,000 nutrition centres. Training of local staff is an important aspect of UNICEF aided projects. It has provided equipment, stipends and other aids for the train-ing of more than 3,25,000 pediatricians, nurses, midwives, childcare workers, community leaders, nutritionists, sanitation workers, school teachers and other personnel serving children.
Pakistan today is taking equal interest in the training pro-gramme for the benefit of children. Demand for trained persons are increasing daily in every sphere of social welfare. Our Five Year Plans have given great importance to the training pro-grammes. Training of such persons like teachers, health visi-tors, health educators, social workers, nurses, doctors, mid-wives and even medical administrators for family planning methods have greatly benefited the community as a whole. At present the Universities of Lahore, Dacca, Karachi and Rajshahi possess Departments of Social Work. They provide training facilities at the B.A. and M.A. levels. During the Second Five-Year Plan social work was introduced as an Elective Sub-ject in many colleges. This activity is to be extended to an-other 20 colleges (10 in each wing) during the Third Five-Year Plan. Government Training Institutes have been set up in Dacca and Lahore for the purpose of training social workers in child welfare work. This has been done in order to give greater impetus to improvement of child welfare services and programmes in the country.
In the field of education, development is taking place at alt levels. Qualified teachers are in great demand, especially for the primary and the secondary schools. Facilities of train-ing of teachers have, therefore, been developed in two main aspects. Firstly, size of the training programmes has been expanded so as to increase the annual output of qualified teachers, and secondly, efforts have been made to improve the quality of training given to the teachers. The output of trained primary school teachers increased from 7,700 in 1958 to 16,400 in 1968 and that of secondary school teachers increased from 1,452 to 4,050. The real progress in teachers training is, however, reflected by the increase in the number of trained teachers which increased from 83,000 to about 1,25,000 for primary teachers and from 35,000 to about 58,000 for secondary teachers.
In the field of Health, there is great dearth of child specia-lists, nurses, midwives, health visitors etc. In the developing country like ours where population is growing very fast, disease. poverty, malnutrition are very common. Medical Colleges and nurses training colleges etc. are doing their best to turn out qualified personnel capable of fighting these ills in a planned manner.
Pakistan Council for Child Welfare has been emphasizing since the last 10 years the need for trained personnel for the protection of children. It has taken every opportunity to bring home the urgent need for these and has drawn attention of the authorities and of the people of the country to the great scarcity of trained qualified workers in medical, educational and social fields. The Council’s aim and object is to promote the physical, moral and mental well-being of the children of Pakistan. Through all its agencies, it encourages the promotion of health., happiness and pleasure of the children of the country.
Universal Children’s Day is celebrated throughout the country with great enthusiasm and fervor. The Pakistan Council for Child Welfare has been celebrating this Day since 1957. The President of Pakistan has instituted six Awards for the children since 1961, which are called the “President’s Awards for Children” and are announced by him on the occasion of Universal Children’s Day every year. The underlying idea of these Awards is to develop leadership amongst the children and to encourage the potential writers, artists and 1~aders of tomorrow. From 1961 to 1968 thirty-six children were decorated by the President of Pakistan with the President’s Awards for Children.