The National Education Policy (NEP) 2009 (“the Policy”) comes in a series of education policies dating back to the very inception of th e country in 1947. The review process for the National Education Policy 1998-20 10 was initiated in 2005 and the first document, the White Paper was finalised in March 2007. The White Pa per became the basis for development of the Policy document. The lag in finalisation of the draft owes to lot of factors including the process of consultations adopted as well as significant political changes in the country. 2. Two main reasons that prompted the Ministry of Education (MoE) to launch the review in 2005 well before the time horizon of the existing Policy (1998 – 2010) 1 were, firstly, the Policy was not producing the desired educati onal results and the perfo rmance remained deficient in several key aspects including access, quality and equity of e ducational opportunities and secondly, the international challenges lik e Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) , Dakar Framework of Action Education for All (EFA) Goals and the challenges triggered by globalisation and nation’s quest for becoming a knowledge society in the wake of compelling domestic pressures like devolution and demogr aphic transformations have necessitated a renewed commitment to proliferate quality education for all. 3. The document is organized into nine chapters. Chapter 1 describes overarching challenges, identifies two fundamental causes that lie behind the deficiencies in performance (the commitment gap and the implementation gap), a nd outlines the way forward. Chapters 2 and 3 articulate the ways of filling the Commitment Gap (system values, priorities and resources) and Implementation Gap (Ensuring good governance) respectively. Chapters 4 puts forward the provisions of Islamic Education and transformati on of the society on Islamic and human values. Chapters 5 to 8 outline reforms and policy actions to be taken at the sub-sector level. Chapter 9 broadly suggests a Framework for Implementation of the Action Plan of this Policy document. Annex- I lays out the current state of education sector. Available indicators have been assessed against data in comparable countries. 4. Many of the areas discussed in this docum ent were present in the previous policy documents prepared in the country from time to time and apparently many of the problems persist. A new policy document on its own will not rectify the situation but all the segments of the society will have to contribute in this e ndeavour. However, the document does recognise two deficits of previous documents i.e. governance reform and an implementation roadmap which if redressed, can alter results for the present Policy. 5. On governance, the policy discusses the issu e of inter-tier responsibilities wherein the respective roles and functions of the federal-provi ncial-district governments continue to be not clear. Confusion has been compounded, especially, at the provincial-district levels after the ‘Devolution Plan’ mainly because the latter was not supported by a clear articulation of strategies. The other issue identified for governance reforms is the fragmentation of ministries, institutions etc. for management of various sub-sectors of education and, at times, within each sub-sector. Problems of management and pla nning have also been discussed and recommendations prepared. 6. On implementation, the Policy documen t includes a chapter that describes the implementation framework. The framework recogni ses the centrality of the federating units in implementation of education. The role of the Fe deral Ministry of Education will be that of a 1 National Education Policy: 1998-2010, Ministry of Education, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad, 1998. 8 coordinator and facilitator so as to ensure sect oral and geographic uniformity in achievement of educational goals nationally. A shift has been made by making the National Education Policy a truly ‘national’ document and not a federal recipe . For this, it has been recommended that Inter- Provincial Education Ministers’ Conference (IPEMC) with representation of all the federating units, will be the highest body to oversee progress of education in the country. In this respect the Federal-Provincial collaborative effort remains the key to success. 7. It has also been proposed to make the doc ument a “living document” that will remain for an indefinite period and be subjected to improve ments whenever any such requirement is felt. IPEM will consider and approve all such impr ovements which can be proposed by any of the federating units. 8. The purpose of the Policy is to chart out a national strategy for guiding education development in Pakistan. Many of the policy act ions outlined have already been initiated in reforms during the process, most notably in the domains of curriculum development, textbook/learning materials policy, provision of missing facilities. A number of initiatives are already being implemented by the provincial and area governments. The Policy takes account of these ongoing reforms and integrates them into its recommendations. The Policy is also embedded within the Islamic ethos as enshrined in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. 9. The success of the Policy will depend on th e national commitment to the sector. Already there has been a marked improvement in the ar ea as all provinces and areas as well as the federal government have raised the priority of educa tion. This will now have to be matched with availability of resources and capacity enhancemen t for absorption of these resources to improve education outcomes for the children of Pakistan. It is a long journey that has already begun. It is hoped that the policy document will help give a clearer direction to the efforts and help in institutionalising the effort within a national paradigm.