By Michael Barber
On 02 March 2013
The Good News from Pakistan
Sir Michael Barber describes pioneering work in Pakistan to improve the school system in the province of Punjab. This report was published by Reform, an independent, non-party think tank.

The Punjab School Reform Roadmap was launched by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in early 2011. Since then officials in his government, led by the Secretary Schools, have been implementing an ambitious reform to improve more than 50,000 schools in the province of Punjab, home to more than 25 million school-age children.




Supported by DFID and a small team led by Sir Michael Barber the government has made dramatic improvements. These include:

  • An increase of 1.5 million in the number of children in school

  • An increase in student attendance from 83% to 92%

  • A fall in teacher absenteeism from 19% to 9%

  • Improvement in the provision of basic facilities (drinking water, electricity, toilets and boundary walls) from 69% to 92%

  • An increase in the proportion of schools visited each month by officials to 96%

  • A reduction in gender gaps on all five indicators (student enrolment, student attendance, school facilities, teacher presence, administrator visits)

  • Development of a new teacher evaluation and mentoring approach and rollout to 200,000 teachers in thirty-four districts

  • Development of new textbooks for the primary curriculum




 This report, written by Sir Michael Barber and published by Reform, tells the story of the Punjab School Reform Roadmap so far. 

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Almost all of the world’s children are in school, but more than half are learning very little. For the first time in human history, we know what to do about it.
Setting a New Pace: How Punjab, Pakistan achieved unprecedented improvements in public health outcomes
Big wins for public health in Punjab, Pakistan.
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An emerging science of how to improve schools is emerging. This book summarizes what we know so far about how to improve schools.