The education system in Pakistan is composed of approximately 260,903 institutions and is facilitating 41,018,384 students with the help of 1,535,461 teachers. The system includes 180,846 public institutions and 80,057 private institutions. Therefore, 31 percent of educational institutes are administered by the private sector, while 69 percent are public institutes.A review of Pakistan’s educational system suggests that there have been few changes in schools in Pakistan since 2010 when the 18th constitutional amendment enshrined education as a fundamental human right in the constitution. The problems of access, quality, infrastructure and inequality of opportunities are still endemic. The article describes seven main problems that must be addressed for the development of education and the promotion of literacy.First is the lack of proper planning. Pakistan is a signatory to the MDGs and the EFA goals. However, it seems that it will not be able to comply with these international commitments due to the fiscal management problems and the limitations to reach the MDGs and the EFA goals. Second is the social limitations. It is important to realise that the problems that hinder the provision of education are not only due to management problems on the part of the government, but some of them are deeply rooted in the social and cultural orientation of the people. Overcoming the latter is difficult and would need a change in the attitude of the people.The third is the gender gap.The main factors that hinder girls’ enrolment rates are poverty, cultural limitations, parents’ illiteracy and parents’ concerns about the safety and mobility of their daughters. The emphasis of society on the modesty, protection and early marriages of girls may limit the willingness of the family to send them to school. The enrolment of rural girls is 45 percent lower than that of urban girls; while for children, the difference is only 10 percent, which shows that the gender gap is a crucial factor. Fourth is the cost of education.The economic cost is higher in private schools, but they are only located in richer settlements. The paradox is that private schools are better but not everywhere, and government schools ensure fair access but do not provide quality education.Fifth is the war on terror. Pakistan’s participation in the war against terrorism also affected the promotion of the literacy campaign. The militants attacked schools and students.Several educational institutions were blown, and teachers and students were killed in Balochistan, KP and FATA. This may have to contribute not as much as other factors, but this is still a key factor.Sixth is the Education funds. Pakistan spends 2.4 percent of GDP on education. At the national level, 89 percent of education expenditure includes current expenses, such as teacher salaries, while only 11 percent corresponds to development expenses, which is not enough to raise the quality of education.The reforms required in the education system of Pakistan cannot be made only by the government. Public-private participation and a combination of formal andnon-formal education can introduce a majority of the population of the country to literacyAnd lastly, the technical education. Insufficient attention has been given to technical and vocational education in Pakistan. The number of technical and vocational training institutes is not enough,and many lack infrastructure, teachers, and tools for training. The population of a state is one of the main elements of its national power. You can become an asset once you are an expert. The unskilled population means more unemployed people in the country, which negatively affects the national development. Therefore, technical education needs priority management by the government.We can solve these problems if we adequately implement the national education policy and the 2030 vision education objectives. It is possible that the government cannot currently implement a uniform education system in the country, but a uniform curriculum can be introduced in the educational institutes of the country. This will provide equal opportunities for students from rural areas to compete with students from urban areas in the labour market.Given that the majority of the Pakistani population lives in rural areas and access to education is a major problem for them, it seems feasible to adopt a balanced approach to formal and informal education.The federal government is paying attention to professional and technical training, but it is essential to make the existing vocational and technical training centres more efficient so that trained young people can be produced.Since education is a provincial subject, the provincial education secretariats should be strengthened. Special policy planning units should be established in the provincial education departments for the implementation of educational policies and the formulation of new policies when necessary. The provincial departments of education must calculate the financial resources required to comply with Article 25-A.The federal government must play a supporting role against the provinces for the prompt fulfilment of the constitutional obligation established in Article 25-A. Special subsidies may be granted to provinces where the literacy rate is low.These are some recommendations that can help to endure our colossal mess of the educational system.Technical education must be part of secondary education. Carpentry, electricity, and other technical education classes should be included in the curriculum.Giving financial incentives to students can encourage parents to send their children to school and can help reduce the dropout rate.The local government system is useful in promoting education and literacy in the country. In the local government system, the locality will spend the funds for education according to need.Corruption in education departments is one of the factors of the low level of literacy in the country. An effective monitoring system is needed in education departments.For any system to work, it is imperative that relevant structures are developed. The legislation and structure should be framed to plan the promotion of education in the country. After the 18th amendment, education has become a provincial issue; therefore, the provinces should form laws and design educational policies that guarantee a quality education.The unemployment of educated men and women is a big concern for Pakistan. There should be the professional guidance of students in schools so that they understand the labour market and can develop their skills accordingly.There are two approaches to acquiring education. First, what many in Pakistan are pursuing, is getting education to earn bread and butter. The second approach is to obtain education for personal development and learning. This approach is followed by rich and economically stable people who send their children to private schools and abroad for education. The problem arises when non-affluent families send their children to private schools and universities. This aspiration to send children for higher education is wrong because the country does not need managers and officers only. There are many other jobs where people are needed. Therefore, the mentality of sending children to college only to become officials and managers must be changed.The reforms required in the education system of Pakistan cannot be made only by the government.Public-private participation and a combination of formal and non-formal education can remove the majority of the population of the country from illiteracy. In the same way, for the youth of the country to be an asset, attention must also be given to professional and technical training.The writer is a Quetta based columnist and independent researcher. He can be reached at Asadhussainma@yahoo.comPublished in Daily Times, August 10th 2018.