Why Can't Pakistani Children Read? The Inside Story of Education Reform Efforts Gone Wrong

Children with textbooks in a school courtyard
“Pakistan’s Education Crisis: The Real Story,” by a Wilson Centre global fellow Nadia Naviwala — seeks to explain how Pakistan’s education crisis has been misdiagnosed.

The author points out that there are 17 million primary aged children who go to school in Pakistan, compared to five million who do not. The main problem, according to her, is that those who do go to school are not learning much. Many “cannot read a sentence after years in school,” says Ms Naviwala. She notes that this is a global problem but it “is only worse in Pakistan because of the use of foreign languages in education”.
She also quotes from a British Council survey which shows that 94 per cent of English-medium private school teachers in Punjab do not speak English.
Wilson Center
Marginalized & Vulnerable group:
Language of Instruction
Level of Education:
Early Childhood Education, Primary & Secondary, Higher Education, Non-formal Education
Type of Resources:
Research & Policy Papers
Asia & the Pacific
Language of Publication: