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Basic Education in Pakistan
Helping improve literacy and early grade reading skills
USAID Pakistan

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) works with the Government of Pakistan and development partners to increase access to and improve the quality of basic and higher education.


USAID and the Government of Pakistan partner to provide quality basic education and higher education to Pakistani students. This partnership includes training teachers and school administrators, developing educational policies responsive to local needs, and increasing community involvement in schools by actively involving families and the private sector. Additionally, USAID supports market-based workforce development training, and research geared toward meeting the workforce needs of the 21st century.


  • Trained more than 46,000 teachers and school administrators since 2013. 
  • Provided approximately 19,000 scholarships for talented students to attend tertiary education in Pakistan over the past nine years.
  • Reached more than two million primary-level learners throughout the country, and improved oral reading fluency for 26 percent of grade-two graduate students in early grade reading supported classrooms.
  • Built 17 faculties of education to ensure training of future teachers.
  • Built or repaired more than 1,600 schools in Pakistan, including 946 in the Newly Merged Districts of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province.



In Pakistan, where nearly 22.5 million children are out of school, increasing access to education opportunities for out-of-school children is a priority. USAID’s education programs have provided emergency education to children displaced by military conflict and enrolled new students in schools and non-formal education programs. USAID also works with the Government of Pakistan, private sector and community representatives to address barriers that keep students from enrolling and staying in school. During the COVID-19 outbreak, USAID reached over 5.9 million people through various technologies to share resources, boost literacy across radio networks, and disseminate health and instructional materials.


Teachers make the biggest impact on what students learn. USAID partnered with Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission to develop two professional teaching degree programs. As a result, Associate's and Bachelor’s degrees in Education are now offered in 110 universities and teacher training colleges across the country. Reading is the foundation of learning, earning, and critical thinking. By building a child’s reading skills at an early age, that child is much more likely to succeed and ultimately stay in school. USAID invested in training thousands of teachers on how to teach reading, which includes attractive, ageand grade-appropriate, and instructionally sound teaching and learning materials in Urdu, Sindhi, Balochi, Brahui, and Pashto. We have also established classroom libraries in thousands of schools, and encouraged schools to dedicate more classroom time for reading. Furthermore, USAID helped pioneer a public-private partnership program where Education Management Organizations (EMOs) work with reputable private sector organizations to improve the operations of public schools and enhance students’ learning achievements. To date, the government has handed over 139 schools with 64,000 students to seven EMOs in Sindh.


USAID programs help Pakistani universities increase access to and improve the quality of their degree programs. USAID has provided scholarships to talented low-income and marginalized students and helped Pakistani universities improve their ability to manage financial aid programs. To enhance the quality of higher education programs and research, USAID has connected experts in energy and water at U.S. universities with Pakistani universities USAID also supported the establishment of advanced research centers and laboratories where Pakistani universities partner with U.S. universities to conduct joint research for practical and policy solutions to energy and water problems in Pakistan.