Education in Pakistan- What Works and Why (2007)

This study aims to shift the emphasis from an overwhelming number of doomsday descriptions for education in Pakistan toward a search for the positive that would connect with possibilities of reform. By examining five to six quality schools each in eight sites across the country, the report sought to better understand the factors that enabled the provision of high quality education. The schools were chosen to encompass a broad spectrum of organizational forms and support mechanisms in Pakistan, which included unassisted government schools, government schools assisted by a program and private schools. The study used student test results as a measure of quality, while going beyond scores to assess schools in depth. Employing qualitative research methods, fifteen schools were identified for in-depth visits for classroom observation and teacher interviews. This multi-case study approach allowed for a deeper understanding of the education landscape of the country and helped provide recommendations for future policymaking.

The report recommends the identification and promotion of the promising human resources present within our schools and the provision of a meaningful system of incentives to teachers and school leaders in improving the quality of schools. The report findings highlight the need to support the required leadership within schools usually provided by head teachers. This leadership matters, thus work on nurturing their leadership skills and providing opportunities to support reform is essential. The report also notes that community involvement councils should be flexible and reviewed by the government to increase their effectiveness.

Sponsor(s): Open Society Foundations