SUKKUR IBA COMMUNITY SERVICES
SANAULLAH SHAR, MANAGER MARKETING
Apr 16 - 22, 2012
In rural Sindh, access to the quality education is inadequate which results in rural and urban gap. Available sources of quality education are expensive and faraway from the reach of poor and less privileged population. This gap has widened through the decades and has grave consequences in shape of mass unemployment and underdevelopment.
To address these challenges, the foundation stone of Sukkur IBA was laid down in 1994 with affiliation to IBA Karachi and afterwards it got its charter as a degree awarding institute in 2006.Sukkur IBA has been playing a pivotal role in imparting quality education. It has remained instrumental in developing young leaders, entrepreneurs and managers from rural communities.
More than 90% of students at Sukkur IBA belong to middle class, lower middle class and poor families. These students are poor, both financially and academically. Sukkur IBA is fully aware of this dilemma. So in order to address these challenges it provides community services through different programs:
1. FOUNDATION SEMESTER SYSTEM: To render its true services to the students of local and poor communities the foundation semester system was started in 2007. Sukkur IBA is the only pioneer and initiator of this program among all the public sector institutes. This program aims at supporting and preparing the students with poor academic background, providing them a chance of getting admission at Sukkur IBA and to compete with other students with sound schooling. Through this semester, students from far flung areas of Sindh are selected and passed through a comprehensive teaching process for more than 4 months in basic subjects which cover the entry level test curriculum.
2. TALENT HUNT PROGRAM: Heavy monsoon rains and floods in July and August 2010 caused immense destruction in Pakistan resulting in almost 2,000 deaths, millions of affected people and widespread damage and displacement. This disastrous situation was described as the worst ever flooding in Pakistan. Sukkur IBA's talent hunt program (THP) was aimed to support those affected of this natural disaster. The program test was conducted on November 14, 2010 and 1000 students were shortlisted. After that 500 students were selected on the bases of merit cum poverty criteria.
3. COMMUNITY COLLEGES: As it is identified that students suffer from the academic poverty as well, therefore to address the challenge Sukkur IBA decided to start working through the network of community colleges which strengthens foundation of students on competitive basis at very affordable cost. It caters to the academic and financial poverty driven communities. Community colleges in Khairpur Mirs, Naushehro Feroz and Dadu are operating and rendering their services, whereas IBA Community College Jacobabad is in pipeline. It is affiliated with Agha Khan Education Board and has linkages with international academic bodies.
4. SCHOLARSHIPS: It would be truly an injustice if a good brain is deprived of proper learning only because of not being able to pay for it. Firmly believing in this idea, Sukkur IBA plays role as 'the center of excellence for the people with small purse but with big purpose. Sukkur IBA remained a place of great support for the talent of the poor. It could be known from the fact that even the son of a cobbler studies at Sukkur IBA, and we have many more success stories of similar background. It has become popular that many students at Sukkur IBA come without money in their pockets and study here on full free-ship basis, successfully pass out and get lucrative jobs. This is because Sukkur IBA is trustworthy not only for its students but also for its donors.
5. PROFESSIONAL TRAININGS: Sukkur IBA training facilitation has helped multiple organizations and individuals to enhance and upgrade the skills of their employees; so far more than 7000 people have been trained. Sukkur IBA has also been working with UNDP as Organization Partner Training Institute to build up the capacity of district level officers, local government office bearers and women politicians under the Gender Based Governance System. Benzair Bhutto Shaheed Youth Development Program (BBSYDP) at IBA campus also benefits number of youth with professional trainings.
6. CENTER OF ENTREPRENEURIAL LEADERSHIP AND INCUBATION CENTRE: Lack of jobs in the market and economic hardship in the environment made entrepreneurship the need of the times. This is one avenue of growth where there is great potential for development; sadly it is an area which is very much neglected. To address this challenge Sukkur IBA has established a Center for Entrepreneurial leadership and Incubation center to educate, train and assists the people of this community to start thinking of innovative ideas and introduce new businesses.