There are more than two million Pakistanis working in the United Arab Emirates which is one of the leading sources of remittances for Pakistan. Pakistan needs more and more skilled work force not only within the country but also for earning foreign exchange through the efforts of the overseas Pakistanis.
PAKISTAN & GULF ECONOMIST visited ‘Memon Industrial and Technical Institute (MITI)’, a world-class vocational institute in Korangi, Karachi-Pakistan. MITI is an institute with almost all facilities required to meet the global standards. We interacted with the teachers and the students. Teachers as well as students at MITI come not only from the outskirts of Karachi but also from other cities of Sindh and other provinces of Pakistan. A teacher hailing from Shikarpur, Sindh has been working for last five years. Students come from North Karachi, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Shah Latif Town, Orangi, Haji Shali Goth, Landhi, Korangi, Malir, Shah Faisal Colony etc. They travel a long distance to get quality education and vocational training and consider themselves blessed since for almost no cost, they are getting skills to meet the global requirements.
A son of a security guard is learning the skills to fix generator and hopes that he would be able to contribute to the economic prosperity of Pakistan. Children of chefs, carpenters, cable operators, police officers etc. are there to learn multifarious skills for the betterment of their future subsequently benefiting the country.
A student from Mansehra Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and a student from Larkana besides lots of other students told their stories to PAKISTAN & GULF ECONOMIST and were proud to be part of MITI. A deluge of students from MITI have been getting positions at multiple forums.
MITI was setup as a non-profit organization under the auspices of WMO – World Memon Organization which has 7 Chapters throughout the world. MITI, established on May 31st, 2009, is a vocational and technical training institute for the youth (both boys and girls) offering a wide variety of technical, IT, multimedia and vocational courses/disciplines. MITI opened its doors for students from June 2009 with 7 Trades for boys and today, courses are exclusively offered in 31 Trades for men and 29 for women. Training course duration for vocational certificate courses is 4 months, 6 months and one year. Besides, 3 years Diploma of Associate Engineer and short courses of 2 weeks to 2 months and one day. Proficiency classes are also offered.
MITI is affiliated with NAVTTC, BBSYDP, TTB, STEVTA, SBTE, & CISCO. Currently MITI is graduating 1500-1800 males and 2500-3000 females in each batch and the numbers are increasing day-by-day. The passed out graduates are awarded with the certificates of achievement. MITI is serving the youth from all over Pakistan with no discrimination of caste, creed, language or religious background.
As MITI remains focused on charitable work on a no-profit basis, so its fee-structure is also highly subsidized and most affordable. Besides such economical fee, MITI is also offering scholarships for the needy and deserving students so that no person remains unskilled and deprived.
Over the years, MITI has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) as partners with the following:
- Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Youth Skill Development Program (BBSYDP).
- Karachi Youth Initiative (KYI).
- Prime Minister’s Youth Skill Development Program (NAVTTC).
- Intel Easy Steps.
- United Nation Development Program (UNDP).
- Aman Foundation (British Asian Trust).
- Engro Foundation (USAID).
- Balochistan Rural Support Program.
- Cisco Networking Academy.
Enrollment in MITI is very systematic. However, admission criteria are not very strict. This is because of the target society. Since the aim is empowerment of society and MITI promotes upward mobility among the deprived youth. At the time of admission, the applicant is counseled/guided to select a course according to his or her education, age and aspirations. The total strength of staff in MITI is 224 at present. The teaching staff includes the principals, head of departments and all teachers, instructors and workshop attendants. MITI is serving the local community by providing skills according to CBTA (Competency Based Training and Assessment), which is the need of the time and the Institute is well equipped/organized to impart training based on CBTA as per guidelines of NAVTTC/GIZ.
The following points are focused during admissions and training:
- The focus of selection is more at-risk location specific; the selection based on factors such as socio-economic status, household incomes and out of employment/employability.
- MITI sets up camps and/or forms local networks to recruit suitable candidates.
- Throughout implementation, MITI coordinates closely with the students and parents to help maintain their attendance, and with potential employers to help ensure the training, which ultimately leads to better employment and income opportunities.
- Those young girls who have been a victim of violence either directly themselves or indirectly (i.e. other members of their families).
- Youth who are out-of-school and have had no past exposure to education or schooling, and are therefore almost completely unemployable.
- Youth who are out-of-school but have some level of education.
- The four-month course comes with life-skills mentoring and teaching, which entails skills development with an emphasis on student discipline, punctuality, and respect for others, personal grooming and maintaining a positive attitude.
- The selected candidates may have limited exposure to formal education in the past and resultantly not possess the required set of skills for the accredited training programs. Where needed, MITI teachers work with weaker students to bring them up to date, and develop the right skill-set and basic qualifications for the desired courses. These will enable the students to participate equally in the selected courses.
MITI has established a reputation in the market for producing skilled workers. It receives regular requests from employers to help with their hiring. MITI facilitates the placement of the graduating students under the program by connecting them to employers. However, since job placement generally takes time and is difficult to monitor, MITI starts these efforts from the beginning by creating student profiles to be sent to employers. It continues these efforts 3 months after the classes end by having a designated officer follow up with the students.
A hallmark of MITI’s operations is its commitment to continuous improvement and development. As such new courses, extra-curricular activities, replacement of equipment, renovation and rationalization are regular features of MITI operations. As such, the Institute which began operations in 2009 offering 6 courses with an enrollment of 254 students is now a vibrant and flourishing training center offering more than 60 courses for boys and girls. The number of students has also increased to almost 10,000 to 12,000 per year. There is no gender discrimination and the proportion of female trainees is almost 60 percent of the total.
Due to the adverse electricity position in our area, MITI has decided to convert to solar power next year for which planning and funding is being pursued actively. It is not out of place to mention that the cost is also very high due to heavy reliance on diesel generating plant. Due to high initial cost, it will be installed with help from philanthropic individuals and corporate entities.