The Good (Education) News from Pakistan

˙ PREAL Blog

This post is also available in: Spanish

Sir Michael Barber, Chief Education advisor at Pearson, former Partner at McKinsey & Company, and former Chief Advisor on Delivery to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, recently released a report detailing progress in a sweeping effort to reform primary and secondary education in the Punjab, Pakistan’s largest province.

With its low levels of enrollment, high levels of teacher absenteeism, and poor student performance in math and reading – not to mention broader concerns related to governance, terrorism, and infrastructure – Pakistan represents, according to Barber, “the biggest education reform challenge on the planet.”

Barber describes a comprehensive effort that combines political leadership and substantial support from the British Department for International Development (DfID). The reform, called the Punjab Schools Reform Roadmap, is based substantially on bold ideas, government commitment and tenacious implementation. It also includes what might be the world’s largest education voucher system. He concludes his account with a set twelve lessons he thinks might be applicable to reform efforts in other parts of the world. The first is to be ambitious; the second is to set clear goals; and the third is to prepare and plan and get on with it, refining as you go.

View the full report, “The good news from Pakistan,” here. (PDF).

Barber and Mohammed Aslam Kamboh, the secretary for school education of the Government of Punjab, will speak at a World Bank event entitled “Deliverology: From Idea to Implementation,” on Wednesday, April 10 from 3:00-4:30 EST. View the webcast here.

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