Education and Health

School Health Programme: A Strategic Approach for Improving Health and Education in Pakistan. (2010). United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

This report is a collaboration between the Ministry of Education and UNESCO and examines the importance of School Health Programmes. These programmes are primarily based on the premise that there is a relationship of quality of learning with the health conditions of students, and that the responsibility of the state is to facilitate smooth physical and mental growth of children for their future role as productive members of the society. They focus on ensuring that schools have the facilities and services that provide a healthy environment and that educate children on nutrition and hygiene. However, further strategic action needs to be taken for the successful integration of health education and services into all schools. This action includes legislation and policy reforms for provision of health and nutritional support to all children in schools, resource mobilization for School Health Programme (SHP) and coordination mechanisms between Health and Education sectors. Therefore, the success of any future country wide School Health Programme will largely depend on the will and determination of political leadership to invest on this important area which will affect health and education of next generations in Pakistan.

Language Issues and Education

Coleman, H. (2010). Teaching and learning in Pakistan: the role of language in education. Islamabad.The British Council.

This report commissionedby the British Council, describes the context in which English language teaching and learning takes place in Pakistan. This includes the legislative context, particularly the National Education Policy, which seems to extend the role of English in education, 
although many aspects of the new policy remain unclear. The report disagrees with the Policy’s focus on English language teaching, since it is frequently unsuccessful as teachers are not comfortable or qualified to teach in English. Thus, the report suggests that early years education must be provided in a child’s home language. The dangers of not doing so include high dropout levels (especially among girls), poor educational achievement, poor acquisition of foreign languages (such as English), the long-term decline and death of indigenous languages. The report also lays out a proposed strategy for the development of English and English language teaching in Pakistan. It recommends that support should focus on supporting policy development, on pre-service teacher education and on in-service teacher development. Attention should also be given to English language needs in the Islamic education sector. A tentative attempt is made to suggest how available resources might be allocated for these different types of activity.

Financing Education

Malik, R., &Naveed, A. (2012). Financing Education in Pakistan: The Impact of Public Expenditure and Aid on Educational Outcomes. RECOUP Working Paper, 42.

This paper presents a broad picture of the state of education financing in Pakistan by tracing the trends in two sources of public financing – state and donor funding and also analyses what these trends a) reveal about relationship between the country and donors; b) imply with regard to the trajectory of trends in observed educational outcomes. It is demonstrated that the nature and success of donor influence varies at various levels. Despite the apparent commitment of the state, prolonged donor presence and influence, as well asfinancing and governance reforms in the education sector as a whole, obligations to ensure minimum basic outcomes have not been kept up.However, this paper has demonstrated that aid to education has played a significant role in determining policy priorities since the 1990s. It appears to have made a greater impact through project aid – such as teacher training or school sponsorship – than through the newer modalities such as SWAps. Despite being less aid-dependent than many of its developing counterparts in South Asia, donor involvement in the education sector in Pakistan has contributed to improvements to a number of indicators of educational outputs in the country since the 1990s, however significant gender, regional and rural-urban disparities remain.

Mukhtar, E.M. (2011). Macro Trends in Financing of Education in Pakistan. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

This study presents national trends on financing of education in the context of achievement of the EFA goals and MDGs. It analyses the data on budget allocations or actual expenditure of the education sector to ascertain trends and priorities of the government. A comparison of the education and non education expenditure shows that the non education expenditure shows a much steadier trend. This is due to the fact that any fiscal shock leads to a cut in the social sector expenditure. Furthermore, it is the development expenditure rather than the current expenditure, which falls short of the budget. This is because a development budget is easier to cut without political repercussions since it does not involve salaries. The report also draws attention to the prioritization in the subsectors, demonstrating that the primary sector has the most allocation, while vocational education is the most neglected sub sector.


Raza, R., Bari, F., Aslam, M., Haseeb, B., Maqsood, N. (2014).Investigation into Teacher Recruitment and Retention in Punjab.IDEAS.

This report documents existing trends and outcomes in teacher recruitment, transfers, postings, absenteeism, qualifications and pre- and in-service training, and explores the relationship between major policy changes and these outcomes. Overall, political interference in the recruitment, retention and deployment processes and design flaws in the policies relating to these processes have been identified as the main reasons for policy failures and the ineffective management of teaching resources. The report provides recommendations to counter these failures. One suggestion is to reduce political interference to limit the role of clerks and PAs in teacher recruitment and management, by automating the recruitment, transfer and promotion procedures. Apart from political interference, a key gap in policy design that needs to be addressed, according to the report, is the lack of a firm policy stance on transfers. This would mean school-based hiring introducing with limited transfer possibilities. To improve teacher quality, the report also suggests improving pre-service training as well ensuring an efficient monitoring system that involves ICTs. Performance linked salaries is also suggested as an important step towards teacher retention. Thus, the report provides a comprehensive overview on the various issues that are faced by the education sector but there is much more space for research within each facet.

Rawal, S., Aslam, M., &Jamil, B. (2013).Teacher Characteristics, Actions and Perceptions: What Matters for Student Achievement in Pakistan?(No. 2013-19).Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.

This paper uses recent unique data (World Bank project survey) from primary schools in the state of Punjab in Pakistan to delve into the question of what makes one teacher more effective than another. The hypothesis that differential teacher effectiveness stems from far more than observable teacher characteristics is tested and more nuanced reasons behind these differences are examined. In particular, teacher attitudes and opinions are investigated to give a more holistic approach to researching teacher effectiveness and its impact on student learning. The paper finds that that in line with previous research, observable teacher characteristics are not what make teachers differentially effective but that their ability to teach, subject matter knowledge and attitudes to teaching matter more. Of fundamental importance is the fact that these attitudes appear to affect female student outcomes disproportionately more than male student outcomes. With a background of concern about the quantity and quality of education that girl children receive, this is of great consequence from a policy perspective. If teachers’ beliefs and attitudes impact on student outcomes, and in particular certain students, their role as such needs to be further understood by policy makers, training providers and schools alike.

Khan, T. (2007).Teacher Job Satisfaction and incentive.A case study of Pakistan.DFID

This report is one of 12 country case studies from Africa and South Asiathat assess teacher motivation and incentives. The study explores if there is a teacher motivation crisis in Pakistan and the form this crisis took. The analysis is based on discussions and interviews taken in Punjab and KP. It demonstrates that competence, motivation and opportunity are three core areas that affect performance of teachers. These occur in four spheres of interaction i.e. among teachers, the school, local management and policy. Teacher competence is affected by the quality of pre service training and this lack of proficiency hinders their teaching and undermines their confidence in teaching. Furthermore, good schooling environments can have a strong positive effect on teacher’s motivation to teach because of the equally positive environment it connotes. Another factor that can affect teacher motivation is to give Head teachers responsibility of managing their staff and important decisions which affect the school. In light of these factors, the paper recommends that pre and in-service teacher education must focus more attention on the practical aspects of teaching so that when new teachers enter schools they feel better prepared and motivated to handle the challenges that teaching throws up, e.g. teaching large class sizes, teaching with little resources etc.

Aslam, M., &Kingdon, G. (2007).What can teachers do to raise pupil achievement?(No. 2007-14).Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.

This paper uncovers the teacher characteristics and teaching practices that matter most to pupil achievement. For this purpose, a unique identification strategy is used-within-pupil variation to estimate the effects of teacher characteristics on student achievement. This was done by utilizing data from Pakistan that permits the matching of students’ test scores in language and mathematics tests to the teachers that teach those subjects, allowing examination of whether the characteristics of different subject teachers are related to a student’s marks across subjects. The pupil fixed-effects estimates reveal that most of the standard teacher resumè characteristics (such as certification and training) often used as measures of teacher quality and used to guide education policy have no bearing on student’s standardized mark. However, despite this teachers are largely rewarded for possessing these characteristics. Thus, teacher salary schedules appear to be inefficient. While this is true more for government schools, private school salary structures appear relatively more flexible. However, these findings have one caveat, which is that differences between teachers in unobserved characteristics still remain a source of endogeneity and undermine the ability to attribute causality to observed teacher variables. Nonetheless, the biases associated with this source of endogeneity may be somewhat reduced in this paper.

Status of Teachers in Pakistan. (2013). United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi.

This report addresses the issues relating to teachers in Pakistan and postulates that the goals of access and quality in education will not be achieved unless the triple challenge of teacher presence, adequacy and competency are taken into account. According to the report, unprecedented demand made by the state authorities on the teacher workforce and an unfavourable environment means there is no incentive in recruiting and retaining teachers. Thus, there is need to reposition the role of teachers and need to redefine the policy framework for teacher education, training and development options. Thus, the report recommends that the private sector needs to be integrated in the planning process to fulfill the educational needs of the people. The teachers must also have a platform to voice their concerns and engage in policy making in the education sector. The report also suggests that their training content must be assessed to ensure that it is providing with the right skills. Furthermore, incentives should be provided for teacher’s recruitment in remote areas. Therefore, this report emphasizes on the potential of teachers to improve the planning process and outcomes of the education sectors.

Choice and Household Decisions

Choice and Household Decisions

Bhatti, F., Malik, R. and Naveed, A. (2011).Insights from a Quantitative Survey in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, RECOUP Working Paper, 39.Mahbub-ul-Haq Human Development Centre.
The objective of this RECOUP report is to present the descriptive statistics emerging out of the quantitative household data collected in Punjab and KP on various indicators that include poverty and inequality; access to and quality of education acquired in terms of literacy and numeracy skills; employment and skills acquisition. The report also presents the inter-regional (both rural-urban and inter-provincial) and gender related gaps in all these indicators. The linkage between these indicators is also explored via cross-tabulations. The survey is unique since it collects important information at the level of communities. This includes information on the patterns of land ownership and access to basic public facilities, etc. It investigates the ways in which aspects of the structure and characteristics of school systems can improve the cognitive, attitudinal and behavioural outcomes in pro-poor ways. Moreover, while correlations and links between education and various outcomes are well-known and acknowledged, this research focuses on identifying specific pathways that lead to improved social and economic outcomes. Thus, the ultimate objective is to guide policy in the right direction so as to maximise its impact on pro-poor educational outcomes.

Andrabi, T., Das, J., Khwaja, A. I., &Zajonc, T. (2006). Religious school enrollment in Pakistan: A look at the data. Comparative Education Review, 50(3), 446-477.

This paper uses established data sources as well as data collected by the authors for a broader study on education enrollment in Pakistan to examine the size and importance of the religious education sector in Pakistan. The madrassa sector is small compared to educational options such as public and private schooling. Furthermore, the authors find no evidence of a dramatic increase in madrassa enrollment in recent years. Their data negates the prevailing hypothesis that households do not have other schooling options and thus, send their children to religious schools, or that households are religiously minded and thus, choose madrassas over private and public schools. The numbers suggest that the schooling decision for an average Pakistani household in a rural region consists of an enrollment decision, followed by a private/public decision, with a madrassas possibility. When there are no nearby schools, households exit from the educational system altogether, although there is evidence of an increase in the market share of madrassas among the poor in these settlements. While the data used by the authors is not extensive enough to answer the important question of what explains enrollment in madrassas either, it does provide suggestive evidence for the various hypotheses forwarded in the literature on factors that may lead to enrollment in a madrassa.

Sawada, Y., &Lokshin, M. (2001). Household schooling decisions in rural Pakistan.

This research is funded by the Japanese Ministry of Education, the Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development, and the Matsushita International Foundation. It looks at the decision making process that results in the educational outcome of an individual. It brings two important contributions to the education literature. Firstly, a unique data set on the whole retrospective history of child education and household background, which was collected through field surveys in rural Pakistan. This is used to examine explicitly the dynamic and sequential aspects of schooling decisions. Secondly, this paper uses the full-information maximum likelihood (FIML) method to cope with the complicated estimation procedure of multiple integration of conditional schooling probability. In terms of demand for education, the paper highlights the high educational retention rate, conditional on school entry. It also shows that the schooling progression rates become comparable between male and female students at a high level of education. These observations indicate that parents might pick the “winners” for educational specialization and allocate more resources to them, regardless of their gender. On the supply side, the paper demonstrates how constraints of education in the village significantly restrict education, especially for females. With these factors in the decision making process identified, policy can be targeted accordingly.

Conditional cash transfers and vouchers

Ansari, A. (2012). Educational Voucher Scheme in Lahore: Serving the Underserved. National Center for the Study.

The focus of this paper is to evaluate an educational voucher scheme in Lahore, targeted towards serving low-income families, by using the criteria of freedom of choice, equity, productive efficiency, and social cohesion. The main objective of Punjab Education Foundation’s (PEF) Educational Voucher Scheme is to provide residents of katchiabadis in Lahore with access to schools, and to empower families by giving them the ability to choose between different schooling options. This gives families greater freedom of choice and increases equity as many out of school children now have access to schools. Although data on the achievement of EVS students is limited, the results suggest that on average, EVS students are doing just as well as their peers. Furthermore, studies on the costs of schooling in Pakistan suggest that private schools have a clear cost advantage over public schools, which means that a program like the EVS could potentially lead toincreased productive efficiency of schools, however, costs of the implementing the voucher program must also considered. The effect of this voucher scheme on social cohesion is not as clear. Due to a lack of regulations on curriculum it seems unlikely that children will experience a common schooling experience.

Chaudhury, N., &Parajuli, D. (2010). Conditional cash transfers and female schooling: the impact of the female school stipend programme on public school enrolments in Punjab, Pakistan. World BankImpact Evaluation Series, 9.

This impact evaluation study is part of the World Bank Policy Research Working Paper series and seeks to evaluate the impact of the Female Secondary School Stipend (FSSS), which was one component of the Punjab Education Sector Reform Program (PESRP). Since previous studies had looked at the overall effect of the program, there was no way to understand the effectiveness of this gender targeted CCT. The program was inspired by the Bangladesh FSSS program but based the eligibility of the stipend on attending public secondary schools only. For householdsthat were going to send their daughters to middle/secondary school anyway, it was essentially anincome transfer. Only for households with out-of-school daughters, was it an incentive payment. The authors used various empirical methods to evaluate the effect on enrollment. This included difference and difference, triple difference and regression discontuity design. While results varied, they all showed an increase in net enrollment. It was demonstrated that that average program impact between 2003 and 2005 was an increase of 6 female students per school in terms of absolute change and an increase of 9 percent female enrollment in terms of relative change.

Hasan, A. (2010). Time allocation in rural households: The indirect effects of conditional cash transfer programs. Policy Research Working Paper, 5256 (43). World Bank.

This research as part of the Impact Evaluation series at the World Bank, expands on the previous study carried out by Chaudhury and Parajuli on the CCT program implemented in Punjab, targeting girls in secondary schools. While the evaluation of the program demonstrated positive results of targeting girls through stipends, it failed to look at any indirect effect of this program, specifically on household allocations. Therefore, this paper provides a more holistic view of unintended consequences of CCT programs by using the data provided by the LEAPS survey. It particularly examines how the mother’s time allocation responds when a gender-targeted CCT program increases the enrollment of girls, reducing their supply of labor in the household. The evidence suggests that mothers spend more time on housework and less time on children’s needs. There is also no evidence of changes in the amount of time mothers sleep or participate in paid work. While this analysis does not change the advocated benefits of the program, it does demonstrate the need to be cautious when generalizing from one setting to another, evaluations of programs in developing countries where program design and implementation frequently are found to diverge.

Policy initiatives/reforms

Aziz, M., Bloom, D.E., Humair, S., Jimenez, E., Rosenberg, L., &Sathar, Z.(2014). Education System Reform in Pakistan: Why, When, and How? IZA Policy Paper, 76.

The authors give a general overview of the changes that have occurred in the educational system in Pakistan and the problems that have ensued as a result. They emphasize on the window of opportunity that currently exists to reform the education sector due to the rising expectations of the Pakistani public, the evolving state of Pakistani politics and the rise of media’s role in highlighting crucial issues. Despite the disruptive changes that have blurred the burden of responsibility of education reforms between federal and provincial governments, the authors recommend how to design reforms at the system level, how to initiate them, and how to sustain them to overcome the inevitable obstacles that will arise. Their emphasis lies on how reform must tackle all sectors of the education system – primary/secondary, higher education and vocational education, as Pakistan does not have the luxury to delay reform in one sector until the other sectors improve. They also suggest that reform in every sector must be systemic i.e. with well-defined goals, focus on a minimal set of areas such as governance, financing, human resources, and curriculum and address them all together, rather than piecemeal. Finally they emphasize on implementation which can be successful if all stakeholders i.e. government, private sector and civil society work together.

Habib, M. (2013). Education in Pakistan’s Punjab: Outcomes and Interventions. Lahore Journal of Economics, 18.

The author provides an overview of the education policies and initiatives that have been introduced in Punjab and discusses whether they have been successful in curbing the problems that the education sector faces. According to the author, the challenge of education reforms is to efficiently implement an investment program to support a high-quality education system suited to local demand and employment opportunities. She provides a framework to assess the initiatives that have taken place. This includes demand and supply side constraints. On the demand side, poverty remains an overwhelming constraint to school attendance in Punjab. Schooling quality, school location, and teacher presence affect parents’ decision to send their children to school. Important supply issues include appropriate and high-quality curricula, the presence and effectiveness of teachers, and efficient school management. Using this framework to assess the major interventions carried out, the author emphasizes on how past initiatives in education were driven by expenditure on school infrastructure with limited evaluation of results. While recent reform programs have incorporated lessons from past failures such as the SAP, and are aiming to build better monitoring and governance structures that include student assessments, a better evaluation of past policies is needed as they are implemented.

Andrabi, T., Das, J., &Khwaja, A. I. (2010). Education policy in Pakistan: A framework for reform. International Growth Centre.

This policy brief draws on the Learning and Educational Achievements in Punjab Schools (LEAPS) report and provides an analysis of the education sector in Pakistan, its major challenges and policy options for moving forward. The major issues it highlights on the supply side are that public school teachers need to be incentivised to improve student learning, and that while competition improves households’ effective choices, teacher supply is a crucial determinant of the level of competition. Furthermore, local decision making requires access to local resources and local accountability mechanisms. The demand side factors outlined show that households face a resource constraint that reduces their ability to choose the best school available for all their children and that the credibility of information on school quality available to households is low and hampers effective decision making. The authors also recommend three policy actions to empower parents to move their children to better schools. This includes investment in girl’s secondary schools to ensure future supply of teachers. They also recommend a voucher system that works in tandem with school report cards, which would allow tying school and teacher incentives with parental demand. Finally they suggest a school support system that can advise schools on management, syllabi and training etc.

Andrabi, T., Das, J., Khwaja, A. I., Vishwanath, T., &Zajonc, T. (2007). Learning and Educational Achievements in Punjab Schools (LEAPS): Insights to inform the education policy debate. World Bank, Washington, DC.

Barber, M. (2013). The good news from Pakistan.
This report by Department for International Development’s (DfID) Special Representative on Education in Pakistan gives an overview on the Punjab School Reforms Roadmap that started in 2010. According to the report, the roadmap has been successful in terms of enrollment, attendance and improved facilities. Furthermore, across all the indicators there has been a narrowing of the gender gap, although there is more to do, especially in the south of Punjab. This data was collected by the Programme Monitoring and Implementation Unit (PMIU) and was mostly reinforced by ASER statistics. While, the report’s role was to gather data on key indicators so that the province could check that implementation was occurring, in practice the data collection process was uneven and often slow. Moreover, according to the author, there are two major hurdles to overcome before the Roadmap can be considered transformative. Firstly, need of convincing evidence of improvement in student outcomes and secondly, sustainability of the reforms, which may depend on political leaders. One way to achieve this is to strengthen district administration, which means overseeing by trained Executive District Officers, hired on merit and held accountable for progress. Another is to use teachers as recruiting sergeants.

Punjab School Education Sector Plan 2013-2017.(2013). School Education Department, Government of Punjab.

The Punjab School Education Sector Plan (PSESP), is an instrument intended to translate the education policy objectives of the Government of Punjab into an operational framework. It is a strategic plan that identifies thematic areas where intervention is required in order to achieve policy goals. It formulates these areas into major policy programmes and it designates operational structures and institutions that will be responsible for carrying out the diverse functions assigned to them. In particular, the PSESP carries out a situational analysis to assess gaps within the education system, and also indicate strengths of the current system. Factors that support a conducive and favourable environment for pro-active reform, includes foremost, political will and ownership. According to PSESP, the current provincial political leadership has remained focused on introducing policies not just to increase access and enrolment, but it has been shifting its policy focus towards ‘quality and standards’ in various inputs, processes and outputs across the sector. Thus, the education indicators of Punjab are significantly better in comparison to other provinces. However, further improvements are required due to the variations in output within the province. Hence, the PSESP forms strategies along the lines of quality, access and governance. It also presents an implementation process including a Performance Assessment Framework.

Asim, S. (2013). The Public School System in Sindh: Empirical Insights. Lahore Journal of Economics, 18.

This paper provides an overview of the Sindh education system using descriptive statistics obtained from the latest administrative annual school census in Sindh (2011/12). It gives an insight on the challenges in the Sindh’s education landscape that can provide obstacles to the implementation of Sindh Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill. The paper reveals that Sindh has one of the densest schooling systems in the world. However, there is a need to differentiate between resource-constrained schools in the province (“needy”) and schools that feed the political elite (“feedy”). Teacher management policies in the province must be sensitive to the distinction between “feedy” and “needy” schools in order to steer the education system back on track and away from the distortions created by deep-seated vested interests. Therefore, the paper recommends that any form of additional school inputs should not be channeled to these schools, or it risks feeding the world of politics, interests, and power. Consolidating the schooling system by absorbing these “feedy” schools into functional schools could potentially lead to significant efficiency gains in the education sector. Moreover, regional disparities in educational attainment are on the rise in Sindh, and targeted policies must be adopted to deal with districts that are lagging behind in basic education outcomes.

National Education Policy. (2009). Ministry of Education.Government of Pakistan.

The National Education Policy (NEP) 2009 comes in a series of education policies dating back to the very inception of the country in 1947. It acknowledges that a new policy document on its own will not rectify the dire education situation. However, the document does recognise two deficits of previous documents, which if redressed, can alter results for the present one: governance reform and an implementation roadmap. On governance, the policy discusses the issue of inter-tier responsibilities wherein the respective roles and functions of the federal-provincial-district governments continue to be unclear. The other issue identified for governance reforms is the fragmentation of ministries, institutions etc. for management of various sub-sectors of education as well as, at times, within each sub- sector. On implementation, the Policy document includes the description of the implementation framework, which recognizes the centrality of the federating units in implementation of education. The role of the Federal Ministry of Education is seen as that of a coordinator and facilitator so as to ensure sectoral and geographic uniformity in achievement of educational goals nationally. However, it is interesting to note that while some actions have already been initiated in reforms during the process, many remain unimplemented to date; a problem emphasized by the Policy.

Educational Access to marginalized populations

Fennell, S. & Malik, R. (2012) Between a rock and a hard place: the emerging educational market for the poor in Pakistan.Comparative Education, 48:2, 249-261.

The authors present evidence on obstacles that the poorest households face in relation to access and learning outcomes. Their contribution to the existing literature on schooling in Pakistan is by identifying exit, voice and loyalty mechanisms at work in the context of an expanding marketplace for education. They predict whether observed patterns of types of exit and voice could point to ways to improve the provision of education. The types of exit, voice and loyalty that emerge indicate that there is a need to examine carefully whether the provision of education for the poor in Pakistan can be regarded as approximating a competitive marketplace. The evidence suggests that decisions regarding school choice are based on familial and community norms. Access to information is a function of the socio-economic status of a household. One implication of this plurality of strategies with regards to exit, voice and loyalty is that the educational marketplace for the poor in Pakistan continues to be uneven in its coverage. In principle, the better off are able to integrate into this new market and benefit from its opportunities. However, poorer households face economic constraints, an inequality of power within the school and a more dismal set of outcomes as a result.

Mahmood, N. (2011). The Demographic Dividend: Effects of Population Change on School Education in Pakistan. PIDE Working Papers & Research Reports,68.

This paper examines how changing demographics in Pakistan resulting primarily from fertility transition can affect educational attainment of school going population during the next two decades, allowing the country to benefit from the demographic dividend, and what are the chances to achieve universal primary-level enrolment by 2015, a target of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The paper demonstrates that with a gradual and steady improvement in enrolment, it may take another two decades or so to achieve 100 percent primary level education in Pakistan. However, if the pace of fertility decline were slower, it would require even longer time to achieve universal education with larger backlog of children remaining out of school. With an ever-increasing number of out-of-school children, this study suggests that massive efforts are required to raise primary and secondary level schooling through increased resources and focused interventions to specifically target rural, poor and marginalised population to redress gender imbalance and large education deficit in Pakistan. Increased primary and secondary education would also contribute to accelerate the pace of fertility decline that would lessen the burden on educational system and improve child quality and distribution of resources among lesser number of school age children.

Jacoby, H. G., &Mansuri, G. (2011). Crossing boundaries: Gender, caste and schooling in rural Pakistan. Policy Research Working Paper, 5710. World Bank.

In this paper, the authors investigate a hitherto neglected dimension of educational choice: social barriers to schooling arising from communal heterogeneity. Since it is usually not economical to provide a school to each settlement, let alone multiple facilities catering to each social group within a settlement, access to schooling will inevitably require many to cross boundaries, be they geographical or hierarchical ones. The question they ask is whether this constitutes a significant constraint on school enrollment. The two aspects through which they analyze educational attainment are purdah and caste. The findings of this paper imply that once the playing field is level—i.e., absent communal barriers and the associated stigma—low-caste children are actually no less likely to enroll in school than high-caste children. Indeed, low-caste girls, the most educationally disadvantaged group, would achieve substantially higher enrollment rates if given access to caste-concordant schools, whether these schools are placed inside or outside their own settlement. Thus, it is demonstrated that a policy of building village schools designed to serve low-caste children would increase overall enrollment by almost twice as much as a policy of placing a school in every currently unserved settlement, and would do so at one-sixth of the cost.

Hou, X. (2009). Wealth: crucial but not sufficient evidence from Pakistan on economic growth, Child labor, and schooling.Policy Research Working Paper, 4831. World Bank.

This paper, examines the association between wealth and child labor and schooling in Pakistan in the context of economic growth from 1998 to 2006. Child labor and schooling, however, are only two dimensions of child activities. In Pakistan, anothermajor dimension of child activities is “inactiveness” (neither schooling nor working), especially among girls. Thus, this paper also examines the association between wealth and child inactiveness. The paper finds that the relationship between wealth and the child activity decision is quite similar across different years for children above the poverty line, except for rural girls. Wealth plays an insignificant role in determining rural girls’ activity decisions in the multinomial logit model. However, rural girls’ school enrollment has increased significantly over the years across all the expenditure percentiles. This implies that other factors, such as presence of schools for girls, distance to school are more critical in determining girls’ school enrollment. This finding echoes the findings from the Learning and Educational Achievements in Punjab Schools (LEAPS). Thus, all the evidence suggests household targeting from the demand side interventions cannot just focus on the poorest of the poor but need a broader coverage for all the poor.

UNICEF. (2013). Global initiative on out-of-school children.

In 2010, UNICEF and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) launched a Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children in 26 countries including Pakistan. As part of this global initiative, this report aimed to improve statistical information and analysis of OOSC in Pakistan and guide concrete education sector reforms in this regard. It develops profiles of children who remain out of school, investigates the major barriers to education, and identifies the reasons why children in Pakistan drop out of school.Demand side and supply side barriers are analyzed and on their basis recommendations are made to create targeted interventions that address the problem of OOSC through the following three dimensions: (i) bringing OOSC of pre-primary, primary and lower secondary age into school; (ii) reducing the number of children dropping out of school at all three levels; and (iii) ensuring that children successfully transition from primary to secondary education. Moreover, the report also focuses on removing child labour for which it recommends convincing parents of the benefits of educating girls; developing education programmes for new mothers and those that focus on potential dropouts and working children aged 11–14 years.

Cheema, A., &Naseer, M. F. (2013). Historical Inequality and Intergenerational Educational Mobility: The Dynamics of Change in Rural Punjab. Lahore Journal of Economics18.

This paper provides rigorous evidence on the long-run inequality in opportunities in rural Punjab. For this purpose Sargodha provides an excellent context in which to analyze intergenerational mobility by providing micro-evidence, using regression analysis on the relationship between historic inequality and intergenerational mobility—an under-researched area in the literature. The findings of this paper show that while impressive gains have been made by the propertied in terms of school transitions, households at the bottom of the historic social hierarchy continue to have extremely low rates of transition to school in spite of increased provision of schools in the district’s villages. The outcome is that households whose ancestors were at the bottom of the village hierarchy have fallen a generation behind in terms of educational attainment compared to groups at the top and in the middle.What is extremely worrying is that a significant proportion of households in the nonpropertied group have had zero change in educational attainment across three generations. The fact that this stagnation is occurring in villages withschools suggests that it is these households’ demand for education that is the most serious challenge to the government’s stated aim of universalizing education.

Complex Emergencies and Education

Global Education Cluster Pakistan. (2014). Education Bulletin, 46.

The Education Cluster in Pakistan is co-led by Save the Children and UNICEF and has been responding to various emergency responses such as conflict and floods. The Education Cluster Strategic Response Plan (SRP) 2014 has been developed and submitted to OCHA. The Education Cluster aims to reach 148,895 displaced and returnee children including 77,426 girls (52%) in KP and FATA. The intervention will ensure maximum enrolment of girls and boys’ students in the schools through strategies like support schools in IDP camp in KP and FATA, by providing additional resources and support in terms of para-teachers, teaching learning and recreation material, and school tents in primary and secondary schools in the affected host communities. It will also provide capacity building to government and para-teachers, and reopen damaged schools through establishment of Temporary Learning Centers (TLCs). Moreover, it will also carry out a detailed assessment to evaluate the demand and supply side needs.

An Analysis of the Impact of the Floods On MDGs in Pakistan.(2011). United Nations.

The primary aim of this report lies in highlighting the implications of disasters for achievement of the MDGs, assessing the recovery needs, formulating appropriate and feasible strategies to bring Pakistan back on to a positive development trajectory. While the report looks at all MDGs, for the purpose of the analysis of impact of floods on the education sector, MDG 2 and 3 are particularly useful. The report shows that Pakistan’s Net Enrolment Rate (NER) as a result of the floods shows a drop, due to schools being destroyed or used as public shelters. In terms of gender disparity, geographic displacement has increased the vulnerability of girls and constrained their mobility. There are also challenges on the supply side including:  difficulties in establishing ‘culturally sensitive’ learning spaces to encourage female enrollments and ensuring return of female teaching staff. Thus, key interventions should include back to school programs as well as budgetary support for supplementing government education budget. However, it must be taken into account that while there is a lot of information through surveys, rapid assessments, and preliminary assessments, “standardized” information is not available consistently across sectors or geographical regions.

Higher Education

Yoong Lee, L. (2011). Affiliated colleges in South Asia: is quality expansion possible? South Asia Human Development Sector, 47. World Bank

This report provides a broad overview of the common features and challenges found in the affiliated colleges system in four South Asian countries i.e. Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Nepal. It also suggests possible reform measures to improve the tertiary education sector in each country. According to the report, the affiliated model is widely regarded as the “weakest link” in the higher education sector.The combination of weak supervisory and monitoring capabilities in the affiliating universities and government authorities has resulted in a downward quality spiral. The recommendations of the report focus on four pillars around which reforms would help improve the current low standards. For the college, it suggests fostering growth and capacity building of the existing colleges and “graduate” ready institutions to academically autonomous institutions. For the affiliating universities, it emphasizes on strengthening the effective quality monitoring of affiliating Universities and their services to the colleges. In terms of what the government can do, it recommends reforms that increase capacity of the regulatory and quality assurance agencies. Overall, it stresses on the need to enhance transparency to increase information disclosures to increase accountability.

PAKISTAN:Country Summary of Higher Education. World Bank.

This report provides an overview on Pakistan’s Higher Education focusing on what the system constitutes of and what different policy reforms are ongoing or need further attention. According to the report the higher education sector is predominantly public in nature, with public Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) dominating both the university/DAI and College sectors. The Higher Education Commission (HEC) is an autonomous apex body responsible for allocating public funds from the federal government to universities and DAIs and accrediting their degree programs. Colleges are funded and regulated by provincial governments, but follow the curriculum of the HEC funded universities/DAIs with which they are affiliated. However, the higher education sector was severely neglected until the 2000s, when the government established an ongoing major policy reform program outlined in the Medium-Term Development Framework (MTDF) 2005- 2010 prepared by the HEC. Yet, further reforms are needed on issues of quality in terms of qualified staff as well as in terms of access particularly for girls. There is also a need to align the programs to the needs of the labour market and reform governance to ensure accountability.

Sector Review: Higher Education Department. Government of Punjab.

This departmental sector review (DSR) puts forth a situation analysis of the Higher Education Sector in Punjab. The review addresses the challenges faced by the Higher Education Sector and presents a set of recommendations to augment the linkages between policy objectives, budget formulation and expenditure patterns of Higher Education for MTBF 2010-13. Keeping in line with these priority areas the evaluation of the budget and expenditure trends of last three years of Higher Education Department Punjab reveal a number of issues; foremost the percentage share of Higher Education in total education budget has not been consistent and in fact has been scaled down. Furthermore, according to the review, there is a need to shift the department’s focus from access to quality, which has to be substantiated, by a number of tangible measures. In this regard it is imperative that the share of higher education budget be increased from 30% to 40% of the total education budget. Within the higher education budget new budget heads for curriculum development, research and development and human resource development need to be developed with dedicated budget lines. Above all, the review emphasizes on how it is crucial to align the budgetary allocations as well as utilization trends annually in line with the MTBF targets.