Pakistan started its journey of independence by focusing on education and the education system. The first ever conference in the history of Pakistan was organised on the basis of providing education. All Pakistan Education Conference was organised in November 1947, just three months after the creation of the country. Muhammad Ali Jinnah clearly asked for target-oriented interventions in the education sector. Jinnah said we need to focus on scientific and technological education to compete on a global level and reap the benefits of modern economic structure.Jinnah urged the youth to focus on their education because he said it is a prerequisite for personal growth and nation-building. Furthermore, he said, “Do not forget that we have to compete with the world which is moving very fast in this direction”. Mr Jinnah deemed education as a fundamental element of Human Resource (HR) development and the welfare of the people. The conference and Jinnah’s vision provided impetus to better structure educational institutes to achieve sustainable growth. This culminated in the creation of a Commission on National Education in 1959, which worked to refine policies and the reforms in the education sector. The Commission encouraged female inclusion and that equal opportunity should be provided to all and they also focused on scientific and technological education. Policy reforms continued during the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and are still ongoing. Nowadays, civil society has become an active partner in reforming the education policy and sector. Many civil society organisations are working on different aspects like the construction of schools and providing basic facilities, in addition to advising government and stakeholders about policy reforms.During the course of time, the private sector has become a part of the education sector to earn high profits. In 1980, the private sector entered the education market and started to tilt the system in its favor. Now private sector education institutes at all levels are major players and the government has minimum control over them. Elite schools, colleges, and universities have become a norm in the education sector. However, only a small proportion of the population can afford private education. On the other hand, the performance of the government sector has declined over the years, especially their quality of education. The objective of reaching 80 percent literacy in 2018 could not be achieved due to multiple reasons. Moreover, universal education seems to be a distant dream as more than 20 million children are out of school in addition to 2.4 million children in Madaras.However, the government does not need to reinvent the wheel, as Pakistan has already developed a number of policies and plans for the betterment of education. At the occasion of the first All Pakistan Education Conference in 1947, a number of sub-committees were made to formulate policy for the futureImplementation framework, will to achieve targets, allocation of financial resources, lack of interest of the political elite and letting the private sector take over, are major areas of concerns. Even in the private sector except for a few big groups, quality education is not being provided The new government has promised to change the existing structure and improve the quality of education. It envisions to bring a positive change. Prime Minister Imran Khan is, again and again, stressing on the importance of education, its role in the human capital development and rapid and sustainable development. The appointments in the education sector seem to be excellent, the induction of people like Dr Tariq Banuri as a Chairman of Higher Education Commission is a ray of hope for the sector.However, the government does not need to reinvent the wheel, as Pakistan has already developed a number of policies and plans for the betterment of education. At the occasion of the first All Pakistan Education Conference in 1947, a number of sub-committees were made to formulate policy for the future. These committees include Scientific Research and Technical Education Committee, Adult Education Committee, University Education Committee, Primary and Secondary Education Committee and more.These sub-committees helped in reforming the education structure. In 1959, the Commission on National Education was established and was supported by the Ford Foundation and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).In 1984, the government introduced a two-year comprehensive plan to increase the literacy rate in the country. The plan included projects like Afternoon School, Iqra projects, Mosque projects, NGOs Volunteer Literacy Corps projects etc. It helped to introduce new ways to increase the literacy rate in the country and paved a way to instill creative thinking in the education sector.Unfortunately, all these plans and policies could not revolutionise the education sector. Among other factors, one of the main reasons is the experimentation of the government with the education sector. The present government can choose to deviate from the past and try to focus on the existing policies and frameworks.However, the private education system and the segregated interventions from civil society requires the government’s focus. The private sector is trying to exploit the vacuum created by the lack of interest of the government and run the system like a business. There is an urgent need to revise the existing private education system. Civil society organisations should also be asked to pool resources and invest in concrete interventions. The government already has a plethora of policies and plans, what it needs are financial resources and practical interventions.The writer is Director Research Uptake and Business Development, Sustainable Development Policy InstitutePublished in Daily Times, September 13th 2018.