August 1947 – Pakistan achieves independence from a century of British colonial rule. 85% of the population is illiterate.
November 1947 – The firstNational Education Conference is convened, highlighting a goal of primary education for all Pakistani youth within 20 years.
1950-77 – A series of Five Year Plans invest in school construction, teacher training, and student enrollment, with limited success–as of 1971, when East Pakistan becomes Bangladesh, 78 percent of the new Pakistani population over the age of 5 remains illiterate.
1977 – A nonviolent military coup called “Operation Fair Play” overtakes the ruling government, and eventually replaces the government’s education strategies with new policies. In the years to follow, increasing Islamist influence on state-run education places greater weight on vocational training and women’s education.
1998-2010 – Revised constitutional policy in Pakistan identifies education as a fundamental human right. Further attempts to improve the educational system have marginal success.
2010-present – Power over educational control and reform passes from the national government to individual provinces; problems such as poor infrastructure and teacher absenteeism plague schools.