Punjab ruling the roost with its superb education reforms

Public-private partnerships can improve children’s results while costing the state less than running schools itself

The province of Punjab under the splendid leadership of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has once again proved its mettle, as the education reforms introduced under him are now globally being recognised.

The latest acknowledgement in this regard has come from the renowned English weekly magazine The Economist, who in their latest article have hugely appreciated the initiatives of the Punjab government for betterment of their education sector.

The facts mentioned within this article openly states that Punjab by the end of this year, aims to have placed 10,000 public schools about the number in all of California,in the hands of entrepreneurs or charities,and also, the other provinces cannot match the scope and pace of reforms in Punjab, which is home to 53% of Pakistanis. Another important detail The Economist has shared in their article is that the number of low-cost private schools in Punjab alone has risen from 32,000 in 1990 to 60,000 by 2016, and the Punjab government have systematically planned to use these private schools to provide state education through outsourcing.

The Economist through this piece have found the education reforms results in Punjab to be very promising, and have suggested the reformers of other countries to take it as an example. The article also has emphasised the fact that public-private partnerships can improve children’s results while costing the state less than running schools itself.

Moreover, The Economist supporting these reforms, firmly believes that simply spending more public money is not going to transform classrooms in poor countries, as the bulk of spending on public education goes on teachers’ salaries, and if they cannot teach, the money is wasted.

The Economist in their concluding remarks has clearly pointed out the lesson from Pakistan,which is about politicians breaking the link between political patronage and the classroom. For it, they have found Shahbaz Sharif as the perfect man, since during his tenure as chief minister, the province has hired new teachers on merit, and has ensured perfect usage of data on enrollment and test scores to hold local officials to account at regular high-stakes meetings.

What is great in all this report is that it has come from The Economist magazine, which is world famous opinion portal due to its credible analysis. Undoubtedly, the Punjab government under the visionary leadership of CM Shahbaz Sharif have tirelessly worked for education sector’s improvement, and The Economist magazine recognising it is actually a victory to this grand effort.

The writer has completed MPhil in Mass Communication from Beaconhouse National University, and passionately loves travelling and cricket.

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