I grew up in an educationally disadvantaged village in South Punjab in Pakistan, witnessing various forms of inequality. With an aspiration to influence public policies on poverty reduction, I trained myself at the postgraduate level in the disciplines of economics, international development, and sociology of education. Over the last eight years, I have been engaged in policy research and contributed to the debates on the issues of poverty, inequality, education and knowledge systems for policy making in Pakistan. By re-conceptualising schooling and poverty from the perspective of the poor, my doctoral research examines if education is the best way out of poverty and towards social mobility. It explores the extent to which schooling enhances the social, economic and political participation of the poor in rural Pakistan. This interdisciplinary project is aimed at generating insights that will help reform education so that it plays a transformative role in the lives of the poor.