In continuation of the aim to standardise education, PM Imran Khan declared that a uniform education system would be implemented, starting from 2022. The motive behind such an ambitious initiative is putting an end to the class divide and promoting equal opportunity for all.

There is no doubt that uniform education will bridge the gap, to a certain degree, in knowledge between different classes. With the same content matter being taught, one can expect for certain disadvantages to dissipate and for more informed children to be produced in schools. However, the efficacy of this policy heavily relies on the strict implementation of highly operative legislation that bounds schools, especially private, to comply. Furthermore, the government would have to ensure that the quality of instruction remains similar so that each child is provided access to an equal playing field.

The lure of the sitting government’s promise can be overshadowed by the fact that class differences are deeply embedded in Pakistan—the job market focuses on skills that private schools hone and upper classes go above and beyond education to maximise the prospects of their child’s success.

Even if we were to assume that all these factors were dealt with diligently, the effect of a uniform education system is likely to be marginal at best. This is because while schooling remains unvarying, children belonging to affluent or upper middle-class families will still have access to facilities that can give them an edge over others—whether that’s higher education, corporate internships, improvement of skill sets and the like.

Additionally, the kind of ideology and mentality promoted by private schools is one that dominates the current market. Thus, children who go to public schools, while being just as knowledgeable, might miss out because their institution may not necessarily endorse the same notions. There are those factors that need attention but the government has failed to acknowledge them so far.

While we can get on board with the utopian environment that uniform education may create, we must also cater to the reality of how consistency, usefulness and implementation will be ensured and quantified.