Pakistan is the world’s fifth largest country and home to the world’s second largest out-of-school population. Despite the many challenges, the work of non-profit organizations like The Citizens Foundation and Teach for Pakistan fill critical gaps in public education. Speakers addressed what it would take to make quality public education and social mobility within reach for every child. They also explored lessons learned from other countries. 

Event Recap

On Thursday, November 7th, South Asia Center hosted the Wilson Center’s Nadia Naviwala, The Citizen Foundation’s Riaz Ahmed Kamlani, Zia Akhter Abbas, World Bank’s Aroob Iqbal and Distinguished Fellow Shuja Nawaz to discuss ‘Scaling Quality Public Education in Pakistan: What Will It Take?’. The conversations covered the many issues, and obstacles faced by the public education system in Pakistan. 

Ms. Naviwala presented the difficulties in reading and comprehension that occur due to a series of infrastructural and financial issues. Mr. Ahmad outlined 5 key points to delivering quality education in Pakistan; the varied language ladder in different regions, textbooks, teacher training, school leadership, and evaluation exams. He touched upon the supply side issue of education, where quality of teachers and infrastructure play a large role. Mr. Abbas spoke of the value of learning at scale by including school enrolled students, as well as non-enrolled students. Abbas shared the minimal viable model and options of gradual upliftment and how lesson plans play a role in that development.

Ms. Iqbal spoke of her experience as a fellow for Teach for Pakistan, and how teachers are the most crucial factor of bettering the public education sector. She further elaborated the role district education officers and how to tackle obstacles of educational, operational, and financial autonomy. The conversation ended with a Q and A that covered the quality of teacher training issues, managerial challenges in the education sector, and how this development can be undertaken through a bottom up process.


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