Institutional Framework for Education in Pakistan

Educational Institutions in Pakistan 

Pakistan has public, private and public-private partnership run institutions, with a significant number of children attending private schools. Different levels of education in Pakistan are:

  • Pre-Primary Education: This level is for children between 3 to 5 years of age, providing basic early childhood education.
  • Primary Schools (Classes I-V): This level covers classes from I to V, typically for children aged around 6 to 11, providing foundational education.
  • Middle Schools (Classes VI-VIII): This level encompasses classes from VI to VIII, catering to students aged approximately 11 to 14, transitioning from primary to secondary education.
  • Secondary / High School (Classes IX-X): This level includes classes IX and X, usually for students aged around 14 to 16, offering a more advanced curriculum compared to middle school.
  • Higher Secondary/Inter Colleges (Classes XI-XII): This level consists of classes XI and XII, often referred to as intermediate education, preparing students for higher education or specialized vocational training.
  • Degree Colleges (Classes XIII-XIV): This level typically includes classes XIII and XIV, offering undergraduate education leading to a bachelor’s degree.
  • Universities: Universities provide tertiary education, offering undergraduate and postgraduate programs leading to various degrees such as bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.
  • Technical and Vocational Education: This level focuses on technical and vocational training, preparing students for specific careers or trades through practical skills-based education.
  • Deeni Madaris:  Deeni Madaris are educational institutions dedicated to Islamic education and religious studies and have their own curriculum. Children can start attending Deeni Madaris from a young age, often at the age of 5 or 6, but it can varies. 

Number of Educational Institutions in Pakistan

According to Pakistan Institute of Education, Pakistan has a vast education system consisting of 313,418 educational institutions.

  • The system serves 54,870,964 enrolled students and employs a teaching workforce of 2,139,631 in the year 2021-22. Public sector institutions educate 53.5% of students (29,359,376), while private sector institutions serve 46.5% (25,511,588). Teaching personnel in public sector institutions account for 42% (889,885) of the total, while the private sector employs 58% (1,249,746) of teachers.
  • Out of total 152,891 public sector schools, 77% (118,272) public sector schools operate at the primary level, followed by 16,238 middle and 14,842 high (schools possessing 11% and 10%) share respectively. Only 2% (3,539) of public schools are higher secondary.
  • Pakistan has 136,601 primary schools, with the majority (87%) in the public sector. Despite fewer schools, the private sector holds a significant share of primary enrollment, with 44% of students.
  • Public sector schools employ a substantial number of teachers across all levels. Private schools generally have a higher percentage of female teachers, particularly at the primary and secondary levels.
  • Public middle schools have a higher enrollment in rural areas (69%).
  • There are 4,146 intermediate and degree colleges in Pakistan, with 45% being public colleges and 55% private.
  • Approximately 3% of schools operate under public-private partnerships, with a cumulative enrolment of 3,406,747 students, 46% of whom are female.
  • There are 43,613 religious schools (Deeni Madaris) in Pakistan, all managed by the private sector.
  • Public institutions dominate Non-Formal Basic Education (NFBE), with 86% (747,778) of total enrolment (874,100) and about 78% (22,650) of total teachers. (28,985).
  • Pakistan has 220 universities and higher education institutions, with 38% (84) being privately managed. Total enrolment in tertiary education is 2,226,251, with females constituting 45% (1,008,087) of the total.
Educational Boards in Pakistan

Educational boards, also known as Boards of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISEs) in Pakistan, serve as autonomous bodies responsible for conducting examinations, maintaining academic standards, and issuing certificates for intermediate (grades 11 and 12) and secondary (grades 9 and 10) education. These boards play a critical role in the education system, overseeing examination processes. There are several educational boards operating across different provinces and regions, schools needs to register with the respective board to enable their students to sit for examinations. Through this registration process, schools become affiliated with the board and gain access to examination facilities, roll numbers for students, and certification upon successful completion of examinations. All Boards have similar mandates with some differences in syllabus.

National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC)

Established in 2005 under the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) serves as Pakistan’s apex body for overseeing the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector. NAVTTC is mandated to regulate, manage, and revamp the TVET system, while also promoting policies, strategies, and qualifications frameworks. It designs and implements skill training programs, introduces accreditation and certification mechanisms, develops skill standards and curricula, and fosters public-private partnerships and industrial engagement to strengthen the TVET sector. Additionally, NAVTTC maintains databanks of skilled youth and facilitates their placement in industries, aiming to bridge the gap between demand and supply in the labor market while ensuring the quality and relevance of vocational training programs.

Provincial Technical Education and Vocational Training Authorities

Provincial Technical Education and Vocational Training Authorities (TEVTAs) develop and implement technical and vocational education and training (TVET) programs at the provincial level. These TEVTAs are responsible for formulating policies, implementing training programs, accrediting institutions, and promoting industry linkages to ensure the relevance and quality of vocational training. They facilitate skill development initiatives tailored to the specific needs and demands of their respective provinces, aiming to equip individuals with the practical skills and knowledge required for gainful employment and entrepreneurship. The Punjab TEVTA (PTEVTA), Sindh TEVTA (STEVTA), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa TEVTA (KPTEVTA), and Balochistan TEVTA (BTEVTA) are the primary TEVTAs operating in Pakistan, each working towards enhancing the employability and socio-economic prospects of individuals through technical and vocational education and training.

National Education Foundation (NEF)

National Education Founcation, a government organization, implements various educational programs, including non-formal education initiatives, with a focus on improving access to quality education for marginalized communities, including girls and women.

Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training (MoFE&PT)/ Provincial Departments of Education

The Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training (MoFE&PT) at the federal level and the Provincial Departments of Education collectively play crucial roles in shaping and implementing education policies and programs across Pakistan. The MoFE&PT is responsible for formulating national education policies, strategies, and standards, while also coordinating with provincial counterparts to ensure alignment and coherence in educational initiatives. On the other hand, Departments of Education, operating at the provincial level, have similar mandates, are tasked with implementing education policies and programs tailored to the specific needs and contexts of their respective provinces. They oversee the administration of schools, curriculum development, teacher training, and the allocation of educational resources within their jurisdictions. 

Additionally, in Punjab, there is a separate department, Literacy and Non-Formal Basic Education department, implementing literacy programs and non-formal education initiatives and Special Education Department with a mandate to impart education to individuals with special needs. In Sindh, there is a College Education Department and in KP, there is a Higher Education Department. In Balochistan, special education and literacy/non-formal mandate is given to the Social Welfare, and is Social Welfare, Special Education, Literacy/ Non-Formal Education and Human Rights Department. 

National Curriculum Council (NCC)

The National Curriculum Council (NCC) in Pakistan plays an important role in the development and revision of the national curriculum framework and standards for primary, secondary, and higher education. As a central body, the NCC is responsible for setting guidelines and benchmarks for curriculum content, learning objectives, teaching methodologies, and assessment practices across various subjects and educational levels. It ensures that the curriculum is relevant, coherent, and aligned with national educational goals, standards, and values.

Higher Education Commission (HEC)

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) oversees and regulates higher education institutions across the country. Its primary responsibilities include formulating policies, standards, and guidelines for universities and colleges, as well as accrediting academic degrees and new institutions, and uplift of existing institutions in Pakistan. It is tasked with allocating funding and grants to support research and development initiatives in higher education institutions. It also oversees faculty development programs, scholarships, and international collaborations to enhance the quality and competitiveness of higher education in Pakistan.


    Go toTop