Teachers, students and parents in the Sindh Province of Pakistan, are about plans to privatise a large school known as the Delhi Boys and Girls School. The school caters for primary and secondary pupils and although it is very dilapidated it is vital to the community because it provides free education to low income families and is the only public school in the area. It has about 3000 children on role.

It was nationalised in 1972 and now the government has entered into negotiations to hand it back to the original owners. Teachers say that this will mean that free education will no longer be available to the pupils and that it will be serving the business interests of the owners.

Privatisation, including the privatisation of education, has been a major feature of Pakistani government policy over the last 30 years. However both the World Bank and the UK Department for International Development have also been promoting it. One of the foremost proponents of neo-liberal education reform, Michael Barber, former education adviser to ex-UK prime minister Tony Blair, has been active in the Punjab area of Pakistan promoting neo-liberal solutions based on data collection, standardisation of testing, scripted curricula and promotion of private education. Michael Barber is paid over $6600 a day to advise the UK government on its foreign aid budget. Something of a difference from the approximately $2 a day paid to the hundreds of thousands of contract teachers in Pakistan.