By Mbarak Abucheri:
There is need for Islamic financial institutions and Muslim organizations to financially support Muslim Youths who fail to enlist in institutions of higher learning and middle level colleges to enable them join technical colleges.
The sentiments were made by the director of the Kitale based Maahad Swalihaat Girls Technical Training Institute, Sheikh Haji Ali who said the initiative will improve access to technical trainings and help Muslim students realize their dreams of pursuing education in Technical Vocational and Education Training colleges to attain skills and competencies.
Speaking at the institution last week during the official launch of this year new in-takes, Sheikh Ali said conventional commercial banks through corporate social responsibilities have been offering scholarships and bursaries to bright and needy students in secondary schools and universities hence the same needs to be extended to average performers to enable them join Technical and Vocational Education Training colleges.
Sheikh Ali called on Islamic financial institution to come together and put up modalities of setting up Shariah compliant loans board to support Muslim students to further their education as parts of their social welfare programmes adding that education is a vital pillar in development of any community hence it was prudent for these Islamic institutions to be involved in the sector.
He emphasized that Muslim students require incentives such as scholarships and bursaries from Islamic corporates to attract and motivate them to take technical subjects and trainings.
The director further pointed out that failure to support Muslim students at TVET colleges will be counterproductive considering t that technical training colleges are essential in promoting technical skills and preparing youths to join the competitive job market.
“The TVET sector is being reorganized and Islamic banks should invest in the sector through provision of scholarships and bursaries to support the training of Muslim students. Corporates should not fear; they should extend their scholarships to the sector,” Sheikh Ali said.
He noted that the primary conditions set by the Higher Education Loans Board(HELB) of recovering loans with interest (riba) has proved to be a stumbling block to many Muslim students wishing to access the funds, while Constituency Development Funds and County bursaries Kits are compounded with nepotism and corruption when selecting those to benefit from the funds.
At the same time Sheikh Ali advised Muslim students to join technical and vocational training institutes to equip themselves with technical knowledge and skills to be productive members of the society.
He urged the students to consider joining Technical and Vocational Education and Training institutions to improve on their careers and life prospects.
Sheikh Ali further called Muslim educationists and professionals to educate parents and youth in the Muslim community about the prospects of technical and vocational education and training as a mean of reorienting them to pursue the course.