Skip to Main Content

Policy and Comparative Development Studies Seminar Series -
Topic 3: How Donor Funded School Improvement Policy/ Model Works? Cases from Public Schools in Northern Pakistan



Date 18 November 2021, Thursday
Time 12:45 - 14:00
Speaker Mr. Abdul Wali Khan
Venue AM201, Lau Lee Yuen Haan Amenities Building, Lingnan University
Online Registration





Unlike several unsuccessful educational reforms which have even dubbed Pakistan as graveyard of failed reforms, various school improvement reforms continue to postulate that ‘change is possible’, no matter how difficult the school context may be. One way of school reforms is to engage all stakeholders- teachers, students, parents, and community in discussion and collectively find out solutions to improve their school.  Reform approaches are multiple such as developing stakeholders’ capacities through training, providing resources, continuing to monitor as well as improve the physical environment of the school, etc. To drive such a school transformation, role of school leadership becomes paramount. Employing theory of change, this qualitative multiple case study reports the effectiveness, successes, critiques, and challenges of an NGO-led school reform called School Improvement Programme (SIP) initiated in 8 public schools of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) from stakeholders’ perspectives. Data was collected from 24 interviewees using semi-structured interviews. The initial findings elucidate that for the time being, teachers feel changes in their teaching, community is mobilized to take part in the education of their children, mother support groups actively working and pays home visits to encourage students reading skills and to increase enrollment. Students’ grades have been improved by average 2% per year. Schools have received a minor amount for repair work. Sustainability of SIP depends whether teachers take the change accidentally or integrate it into their daily teaching practices as well as on the level of teachers’ and headteachers’ participation in the inception of SIP. At the end, this study questions the complexities of externally imposed school reforms in Pakistan.




Biography of speaker


Mr. Abdul Wali Khan


Mr. Abdul Wali Khan



Mr. Abdul Wali Khan is a student of dual doctorate programme: Doctor of Policy Studies (DPS) and PhD Education/Policy Administration between Lingnan University Hong Kong and National Chengchi University Taiwan. Before joining his doctoral programme, Mr. Khan has served over 10 years as teacher and school head with the government of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. His research interest includes higher education reforms, policy borrowing in education, educational leadership and school improvement. His doctoral study explores the higher education reforms of Pakistan in the era of globalisation.





< Back to Policy and Comparative Development Studies Seminar Series