The President of Pakistan Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, in his address to the nation on 15th March 1972 presented the salient features of Education Policy 1972-80. He observed that the education system imposed in the part was much rigid unwarranted, inflexible and was availed only by the privileged few who constitute the elite in the country. The expenditure on education was mostly incurred on “bricks and mortars” as compared to that on teachers and books… Therefore, the government expressed its commitment to clear the jungle weed out of the complexities and put the nation out of the sloth without losing the spirit of religion, finer tradition and culture.

Objectives of the Policy

The principal objectives of the policy were:

  • Ensuring the preservation, promotion and practice of the ideology of Pakistan.
  • Building up national cohesion through conscious use of educational process.
  • Mobilizing the youth for leadership role through participation in various social service programmes.
  • Eradicating illiteracy in the shortest possible time.
  • Equalizing access to education through provision of special facilities for women, under privileged groups, mentally retarded handicapped.
  • Designing curricula relevant to the nations changing social and economic needs.
  • Providing a comprehensive programme of studies for integrating general and technical education.
  • Providing academic freedom and due autonomy to educational institutions.
  • Ensuring active participation of teachers, students and representatives of parents and the community in educational affairs.

1. Free and Universal Education

The policy had forwarded the following statement on free and universal education. Education will be free and universal upto class X. This would be achieved in two phases.

  • In the first phase from 1st October 1972, education upto class VIII would be made free for boys and girls in all types of schools.
  • In phase second, starting from 1st October 1979, free education would’ be provided to class IX and X in all schools.

2. Elementary Education (Class VI-VIII)

  • According to the policy, it was anticipated that primary education would become universal for boys by 1979 and for girls by 1984.
  • To accommodate the increased enrolment 38000 additional rooms for primary classes” and 23000 rooms for middle classes would be constructed.
  • In providing school facilities, priority would begiven to rural and backward areas.
  • The universalization of elementary education would require 2.25 lakh additional teachers.
  • Textbooks and writing materials would be provided free to primary school children.
  • Curricula, syllabus and textbooks would be revised to eliminate overloading and to emphasize the learning of concept, skill and encourage observation, experimentation, practical work and creative expression.

3. Secondary and Intermediate Education


Secondary education, as stated earlier in the policy, would be made free which would provide access to secondary education to children from the less privileged families. By 1980, it was estimated that the enrolment from the present 10 percent would be doubled both in secondary and intermediate levels.

Shift Towards Science and Technology

According to the policy, the expansion of science andtechnical education would result in the progressive integration of general and technical education in schools and colleges. At that time 60 to 70 percent of students in secondary schools and colleges were enrolled in arts subject. Therefore, the policy maintained that by 1980, one third of enrolment would be in each of the three main streams arts, science and technical/occupational subjects. This meant an increase in enrolment in technical subjects from 5 percent at that time to 33 percent and for science subjects from 23 percent to 30 percent by 1980, would be ensured.

Integrated Science Courses

As stated in the policy, integrated science courses including mathematics, biological and physical sciences would be introduced at high and intermediate stages to give students more comprehensive and diversified preparation to get entry into higher institutions of professionals and general education. To meet the immediate need, specially developed short in-service science and technical teacher training programmes, would be launched during summer vacation.

4. Higher Education

Specific provisions on development, improvement and innovation of higher education made in the policy, are briefly stated:


The policy envisaged that new universities at Multan, Saidu Sharif and Sakkhar, would be established. Jamia Bahawalpur would be converted into full fledged university. The Agriculture College of Tandu Jam, N.E.D. Engineering College Karachi and the Agriculture University at Lyallpur (now Faisalabad) will have addition of new faculties. A constituent Medical College would be added to the University of Baluchistan. A collaborative programme would be developed between P1NSTECH (Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology) and universities.

University Grants Commission

In order to co-ordinate the programmes of universities and to develop their facilities without duplication and waste, a University Grants Commission would be established

University Ordinance

The ill-famed University Ordinance, which had caused much unrest among the students and teachers would be replaced by enlightened and progressive legislation that would democratize the working of universities.

Professional Councils

For maintaining standard of education in various professional fields and to maintain’ uniformity among them, professional councils would be established for agriculture, law and engineering.

Centres of Excellence

To curtail dependence on foreign training our experts and specialists, Centres of Excellence would be established which would be financed by the central government.

Area Study Centres

The policy maintained that Area Study Centres for research and advanced studies of contemporary societies v be established in general universities. Moreover, the Institute of Modern Languages, Islamabad University would be extended to other universities in accordance with the areas of study assigned to them.

Pakistan Study Centre

As there was inadequate understanding of the language and literature of one region by the other region of Pakistan, therefore, it was thought necessary that each general university should establish a Department of Undergraduate Study of Languages, Literature and Culture of various regions of Pakistan; Moreover, for research purposes and post graduate studies in the above areas, a National Institute of Pakistan studies would be established at Islamabad University.

Shift-towards Science and Technology

The policy envisaged that a progressive integration would be achieved of general, scientific and technical education at degree level, Science education stream would be added in degree colleges wherever it was not available and technical and occupational stream would be introduced at degree level and in the major occupational fields.

National Professorship

A programme of National Professorship would be instituted so that highly qualified scholars and scientists might continue as teachers and research workers.

National Research Fellowship

As no programme in the country existed to assist and encourage scientists and scholars of outstanding merit to continue their studies and research work, therefore, a National Research Fellowship would be initiated in universities and other appropriate institutions and would be financially supported for that purpose.

People’s Open University

According to the Policy, a People’s Open University would be established to provide part-time education facilities through correspondence courses’ tutorials, seminars, workshops, labs, TV and Radio Broadcasts and other main communication media.

Book Bank/National Book Foundation

Book Banks would be established in colleges and universities for students. Moreover a National Book Foundation would be established to strengthen the national production of books and reading materials to compete with similar foreign material effectively.

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