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  • 2023AishaPhD

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Education policies of Pakistan: A critical discourse analysis for the implementation of ICTs in the education sector

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Publication date28/02/2023
Number of pages187
Awarding Institution
Award date28/02/2023
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The aim of this research was to fill the gap in the literature, and to provide a knowledge base on the integration of Information and Communication Technologies in the Higher Education sector. This qualitative research utilised Critical Discourse Analysis (Fairclough, 2003) as a theoretical framework to understand the reality of the integration of technology in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. This study aimed to answer two over-arching questions about Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) integration. Pakistan does not have a dedicated stand-alone ICTs policy for education hence the National Education Policy of Pakistan relating to Higher Education was the choice for data collection; in terms of ICTs in higher education what national education policy implies and how it is employed. Two types of data were analysed to answer the research questions, the first type of data was from the latest two education policy documents, as in Pakistan ICTs were not included in any education policy before 2009, therefore National Education Policy 2009, and 2017, were analysed. Secondly, interviews were conducted with eleven different Higher Education providers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including university affiliated colleges, schools, institutes, and departments. The interviewees included a random selection of heads of the institutes, directors and coordinators of the courses, administration staff dealing with technology implementation in the university, and teachers using technology in the classroom. Both the types of data were analysed using the three levels of Critical Discourse Analysis proposed by Norman Fairclough (2001), i.e., micro level, meso level, and macro level. The findings include some new discoveries in Pakistani context and affirmed some already established facts from literature. We are aware that Pakistan has not yet published an ICTs policy in the education sector, and neither any of its National Education Policy have been successful. The findings showed the policy making is weak as it does not include stakeholders, policy formulation lack research, the dissemination process is ineffective, which leads to no implementation, and there is a lack of feedback for new policy formulation. Other findings which corresponded with the some other countries, which are contextually related to Pakistan presented in the literature were low accountability, embezzlement of funds and resources, and insufficient support for teachers, leading to no implementation of ICTs related policy. The conclusive suggestion was that the situation can be improved between policy and its implementation with a proposed ‘implementation strategy’ through an action continuum which revises the data for improvements in a spiral of development. It comprised of six dimensions to influence the policy implementation and encourage improved results. The study concluded with presenting the limitations of the study and reflection of the researcher on the whole research process.