Not a moment too soon that the 18th Amendment is being considered for revision. The amendment was passed hastily and even lawmakers themselves admit “without much thought”. Unfortunately, it was a badly thought out change, which in itself contained the splintering of the education and health systems. Pakistan’s state structure has tremendous capability, but it does not have the capacity at provincial level to regulate and give standardisations for educational curriculum, and for health standards. We must acknowledge our needs and not rush to a format which has been repetitively sold to us as better, but which in fact does not work.

The 18th amendment may not be all bad, but the very dangerous elements of it, such as devolving health and education, must be rolled back. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government is right to do this. We must educate our children and future generations under a consistent curriculum, which can then be translated into regional languages so that the maximum number of children can benefit from it. We must establish one tremendous federal facility to test and regulate medications and to give standardised advice on how to develop and improve our health delivery services.

Devolution to the provinces will not work unless the provinces are equipped to deal with the work being delegated to them. It is not practical to develop those capacities at multiple centres. But we can aim and achieve the development of oversight capacity at a federal level.

Education and health are the basis of the success of our future generations competing successfully in every field in a global community. If we do not now acknowledge the wrong being done to them, and reverse that which does not serve us well, we will be laying a path that will take us further from our goals, not towards them.

Voices that argue that the rollback will be ‘undemocratic’, will agree that the constitution is a living document, it must adapt to our needs, rather than for us to selfishly defend that which is not working. Keep what works, and throw out what doesn’t.