Plan to use Zakat for technical education to poor
LAHORE: Punjab has made a comprehensive plan to use Zakat for the vocational and technical education to the deprived youth to engage them in healthy activities, keeping them away from terrorism. Under the plan, 1,200 children will be educated in the first phase and soft loans will also be given to them.
These views were expressed by the panelists in Jang Economic Session on ‘Zakat Fund – Promotion of Vocational Education.’ The participants in the session were Punjab Vocational Training Council (PVTC) Chairman Faisal Ijaz Khan, economist Prof Dr Qais Aslam, Millat Group of Companies Chairman Sikindar M Khan, Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) former President Yawar Irfan and religious scholar Muhammad Ghiyas while Sikindar Hameed Lodhi and Itikhab Tariq hosted the session.
Faisal Ijaz Khan said Zakat fund could be used to generate economic activities for the deprived rather than distributing it like charity. He said better choice would be to help the poor learn catching fish rather than just eating fish only. He said poverty eradication could be possible if Zakat fund would only be used for vocational education. He said out of 56,000 students of the PVTC, 37,000 were deprived and deserved Zakat. He said the Punjab government had increased share of Zakat to the PVTC by 40 percent.
Prof Dr Qais Aslam said every year 3 million new jobs creation was required and only the industrial sector could play its role to achieve the target. He said vocational education was better than conventional education but financial support was needed for its promotion so better utilization of Zakat fund was required. He said the government should make vocational education compulsory in every school for its promotion.
Sikindar M Khan said governments made political decisions and tried to suspend projects of previous government which damaged the country. However, he said, successive governments did not close vocational education and training centre, established by Nawaz Sharif in 1998 while giving resources to the deserving students from Zakat funds which gave them a chance to become craftsman.
He said Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday had removed complications in usage of Zakat fund. He said that initially, 30,000 students were enrolled in the vocational and training institute out of which 80 percent got jobs.
Yawar Irfan said Shahbaz Sharif was active for promotion of vocational and technical education and released funds for it from Zakat fund. He said industrialists and businessman should give some share of their Zakat to the PVTC which would promote skill development.
Muhammad Ghiyas said that in Islam, the government was responsible to provide, food, clothing and housing to the masses. He said Zakat could be given to those could not afford education expenditures. He said Zakat fund should not be utilized for conventions or teaching trainings.