KARIGAR TRAINING INSTITUTE GROOMING YOUNGSTERS

AMANULLAH BASHAR
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)

Jan 23 - 29, 2012

Pakistan is a country blessed with infinite natural resources yet above all 60 percent of its population is comprised of enterprising young people under 25 years of age, which is a priceless national asset provided they are provided direction and guidelines to play a positive role in nation building.

It is heartening to see that some of the corporate members have taken great initiatives for imparting vocational training and education to the needy but deserving youngsters with an objective to make them skilled and well-behaved workers responding to the market needs.

Karigar Training Institute (KTI) is one of such vocational institutes imparting various technical courses including electricians, plumber, refrigeration, and air conditioning mechanics and motorbike technicians purely on noncommercial basis.

Commodore Rtd. Rashidullah, one of the directors of the management committee and Capt Sarwar Naqvi, Principal of the Institute while discussing the aims and objectives of the institute said that Karigar Institute was established as a not-for-profit company under section 42 of the Companies Ordinance, 1984 with a vision to enable young, literate and semi-literate men and women from less privileged sections of society to become economically independent, through acquisition of specialized vocational skills.

The achievements of the institute and response of the youngsters is quite encouraging to establish and manage a chain of vocational training centers in different cities/towns of Pakistan for imparting high quality vocational skills training at basic and advanced levels, and to develop good work ethics.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

1. Air Cdre. (Rtd.) Munawar Alam Siddiqui (Chairman)
2. Mr. Naveed Gilani
3. Commodore (Rtd.) Rashidullah Shaikh
4. Mr. Akbar Kazmi
5. Mr. Omar Shamim Zafar (Chief Executive)

These directors represent Mahvash & Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation.

Under this program, the first project was set up in Karachi, which started operations on March 2, 2009

The resolved and will of the organizers and the way the students are taking interest in the training program and the success stories of some of the youngsters who accomplished their courses and currently working within the country and abroad indicates that the program will go on a massive scale all over the country. A total of 190 trainees have been qualified by end April, 2011. Over 75 per cent are employed or self-employed, while another 10 per cent are pursuing further studies/training.

COURSES OFFERED

Level-I (basic) training programs of six months duration are currently offered for the following vocations.

* Electrician
* Plumber
* Refrigeration & Air-Conditioning mechanic
* Motorcycle mechanic

Level-I programs are designed to develop semi-skilled workers capable of undertaking skilled tasks under supervision of a highly skilled worker/technician.

Curricula require 625 hours of formal training (20pct Theory and 80pct Practical) at the institute over four months.

* After the formal training, on-job training is arranged for two months, at industrial establishments/contractor sites.

* To sit in the examination of the Trade Testing Board, trainees must pass four monthly tests conducted internally.

SPECIAL FEATURES

* Qualified teachers for theory classes and experienced workshop trainers for practical training.

* Weekly guest speakers program to promote work ethics and generate interest in self-employment/ entrepreneurship.

* Internships: Monitored on-job training for two months also provides an opportunity for a regular job.

* Strict enforcement of time keeping and 96 per cent attendance requirement.

* Individual counselling by workshop trainers.

ADMISSION CRITERIA & FEES:

EDUCATION REQUIRED:

- Matriculation for (a) Air-conditioning & Refrigeration (b) Electrical wiring

- Eighth class for (a) motorcycle repairs (b) Plumbing

Fees: Admission - Rs2,000 & Tuition Rs2,500 per month for four months (Qarz-e-Hasna available)

Stipend: Rs4,000 during two months internship period.

Commodore Rtd. Rashidullah and Capt Sarwar while discussing the future plans said that additional programs are under consideration and one or two new vocations will be introduced each year.

* Advanced (Level-II) training programs will be offered in selected vocations.

* Vocational training programs for women will also be introduced.

Since the institute is being run on no profit no loss basis while students are provided tuition and food during lunch time at a high subsidized rate, the institute encourages donation from business organizations and individuals to finance endowment fund, capital expenditure fund, operating expenses deficit, Qarz-e- Hasna Fund and food subsidy fund.

Actually, the great job being carried out by the institute to enable deserving youngsters to become respectable earning members of the family and a responsible citizen is highly appreciable and as a matter of fact is an example for others to follow in the national interest.

The success story of some of the outstanding students described as Karigar Achievers was a matter of pride for the institute and a source of inspiration for many youngsters looking to build up their future as responsible citizens. Following are some of the Karigar Achievers:

Daniyal Sadique, 17, has been working as a plumber in a factory in Korangi since January 2011. He started on a monthly salary of Rs8,000 which was raised to Rs11,000 after two months. He qualified as plumber at the end of December 2010 after completing a six months course at Karigar Training Institute and has already repaid 75 per cent of the Qarz-e-Hasna that was granted to him by the institute.

Afzal Ahmed, 32, has been running his own workshop for motorcycle repairs since May, 2010 soon after qualifying from the same institute. His net earnings per month range between Rs7,000 - 12,000. To expand his services by adding additional tools and equipment, he has recently applied for an interest free loan - a facility offered by the institute through courtesy of a local industrial group, to promote entrepreneurship.

Sajid Afzal, 25, qualified electrician course in Feb-2010 from Karigar Training Institute. Initially, he started his own work of house wiring on a small scale. However, with experience he has started taking contracts of electrical wiring in under construction houses, and he is earning approximately Rs20,000 per month.

The above mentioned Karigars (skilled tradesmen) studied up to 8th to 10th class but due to family circumstances, could not afford to continue further studies. If they had not acquired specialized skills at the institute, they would have been among thousands of young men and women all over Pakistan who complete their education at free or low cost schools but are unable to earn an honest living as they lack marketable skills. Such young men without any skills often drift aimlessly and with growing frustration, risk going astray.