Better outcomes in education in Pakistan are difficult to achieve because the government systems and structures responsible are outdated, inadequate and lack the flexibility needed to manage good schools, hire and cultivate good teachers and produce students with the cognitive abilities and skills needed to help power Pakistan for the 21st century. 

The failures of government systems and structures can broadly be categorised in two realms: constraints that limit the ability to make good policy and good decisions (such as measuring inputs and outcomes, and allocating appropriate resources), and constraints that limit the ability to manage the education sector, due to how the government is structured (such as deploying appropriately skilled people where and when they are needed). 

Governments, both federal and provincial, often attempt to solve the problem of poor learning outcomes without addressing these critical factors. This is not unique to Pakistan, but is a universal formula for low-impact and low-sustainability solutions. Governments may be able to produce short-term impact by addressing learning outcomes without addressing the government systems and structures producing them, but they will rarely be able to translate short-term impact into long-term success. To properly prepare Pakistan for the 21st century, government systems and structures must be fixed. 

The key policy constraints education, namely coherent and robust data, and adequate funding, can both be substantially improved only through federal actions, so here again PML-N government has the time to reconsider education sector as it is there moral and ethical obligation. 

ALEEM UR REHMAN,  

Islamabad, March 13.