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2014, Cilt 4, Sayı 2, Sayfa(lar) 112-123
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DOI: 10.5961/jhes.2014.094
Vocational Education and Zakat: The Case Study of Punjab Vocational Training Council
Iqbal M. KHAN
Lahore School of Economics, Lahore, Pakistan
Keywords: Vocational training, Entrepreneurship education, Value based organization, Zakat education model
Abstract
The aim of this research is to explore the prospect of teaching Entrepreneurship Education to those who acquire vocational skills at Punjab Vocational Training Council (PVTC). It is also to explore whether PVTC has promoted entrepreneurship through its vocational training institutes located all over Punjab. This study also deals with the concept of utilization of ‘Zakat' for the purpose of vocational education as a mode for possible replication. The research objective has been to follow the progress of this institution. It has also been to record the successes of this model of a public-private ownership, a model of utilizing the ‘Zakat' to fund education projects, a value based organization, a learning organization and a highly innovative institution. The other objective is to explore the evidence of entrepreneurship education and its effectiveness in PVTC. Literature has been reviewed on vocational training and entrepreneurship education. It also reviews experience and evidence of such practice prevailing in other environment. Combined with this is the review and conceptualization of a model based on ‘zakat'. Research Methodology used is basically qualitative; data has been collected through semi structured intensive interviews and from focus groups of stakeholders. The strategies adopted to collect data in this study are “survey”, “case study” and “grounded theory.” The data collected from semi structured interviews were concluded by thematic analysis, analyzing technique of writing reports from data. NVivo software was utilized for triangulation to reduce the data bias and increase validity by comparing primary and secondary data. The findings of this research have been that the pedagogical skills offered by PVTC's are not effective for entrepreneurial potential development. Work is required for entrepreneurial curriculum development and training of PVTCs' instructors, students and practitioners. The research also reveals that Zakat Education Model can be further refined for the benefit of the education programs. The paper concludes that despite the efforts by PVTC to launch micro entrepreneurship ventures, it is a very weak effort. It needs to work on an effective pedagogy for training entrepreneurship and to upgrade its curriculum to strengthen both vocational skill program and entrepreneurship education.
  • Top
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • References
  • Introduction
    There is great potential for entrepreneurship. Evidence shows that those who participated in entrepreneurship courses have higher intentions to venture into new business than those who participated in other courses (Galloway & Brown, 2002; Ibrahim & Soufani, 2002; Klofsten, 2000). It augers well for entrepreneurship, policymakers, economist and academics are focused on economic development through entrepreneurship (Gorman, Hanlon, & King, 1997). The realization is that entrepreneurs not only bring new economic development but also bring social justice (WEF). This research highlights the important role of public and private sector partnership for nurturing vocational training and entrepreneurship; synergizing the two; more so in an environment which lacks funds for education, education standards and welfare programs for the youth.

    According to Government of Pakistan Statistics the unemployment rate increased from 7.40% in 2009 to 15.20% in 2010. The percentage change is 105.41% which is the worst in last 10 years. In Pakistan there are not enough jobs for the youth nor have they been prepared to take the role of entrepreneurs.

    The aim is to explore the role of Punjab Vocational Training Council (PVTC) in the promotion of entrepreneurship education in Punjab through Vocational Training Institutes and deal with the concept of utilization of ‘Zakat' for the purpose of vocational education as a model.

    METHODOLOGY
    Research methodology used in this research is basically qualitative; data has been collected through semi structured intensive interviews from focus groups with students, parents of students, instructors, managers, senior managers, principals, staff, policy makers and administration. Case studies have been written on some who presented an obvious evidence of negative or positive impact of this initiative. Observation has been another aspect of this research and documents analysis has also been used for data collection and validation.

    The focus of research is “phenomenological” in paradigm. This means researcher is a part of the study and he is directly involved in the research. Philosophically the ontology of the study is that researchers have an interaction with the environment which is being studied. Epistemologically; it is an interpretive study where findings are not derived from statistical analysis of data. Researcher gets an opportunity to participate in the study, observe deeply the environment, subjects, theory and religious edicts to consider a model for pilot testing and generalization. Self-administrated questionnaire were developed for conducting semi structured interview from target audience. But these interviews were conducted in depth and also over a longitudinal aspect to capture the development taking place.

    Research groups were trained for conducting survey and interviews from vocational training institutes. It took five months in collecting data from city to city. Trained staff for research visited also homes to conduct interviews from parents of the students. These trained researchers visited different cities like Multan, Shujabad, Muzaffargarh, Jhang, Haveli Bhadur Shah, Vehari, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Taxila, Faisalabad, Jaranwala, and Gujrat. Researcher also participated in different activities of PVTC like, conducting surveys and consultancies, leading to teacher training program, curriculum development and assessment process to write up case study. The strategies adopted to collect data in these studies are “survey”, “case study” and “grounded theory.” The interviews thus conducted were converted into case studies that depicted the experience of all stakeholders. The case studies also depicted the ethos and the emotions behind the training and the utilization of Zakat effectively as a successful pilot case on Vocational Education.

    The data collected from semi structured interviews was concluded by thematic analysis, an analyzing technique of writing reports from data. Triangulation was done to reduce the data bias and increase validity by comparing primary and secondary data.

    PVTC and Entrepreneurship Education
    According to Kailer there is no specific definition of entrepreneurship education it's a developing discipline in its self. Young (1997) says entrepreneurship education provides entrepreneurial knowledge and imparts entrepreneurial skills. Entrepreneurial knowledge and skills refer to knowledge, skills and mind set of an individual that is used by him while starting up new venture. Entrepreneurship education nurtures the personality of the student by developing creativity, innovation, risk taking personality and general personality traits that are foundation of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship education also teaches general entrepreneurial competencies which are essential for starting up a business. These competencies are needed for social and commercial entrepreneurship. In programs that lead to setting up small business, it may be more essential to provide those skills how to manage and start up a small business. Vocational training and technical education are interlinked with entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurial courses should be offered in vocational institutes in combination with vocational skills as part of curriculum. Globally educationalists are observing growth and persistent demand from individuals and governments to deliver entrepreneurship education (Atherton, 2004; Caird, 1990; Fayolle, 2004; Gibb, 1996; Hytti & O'Gorman, 2004; Jack & Anderson, 1999; Katz, 2003; Klapper, 2004; Leffler & Svedberg, 2005; Plaschka & Welsch, 1990; Solomon, Duffy, & Tarabishy 2002). Some quarters have claimed that everybody in the dynamics of the contemporary economy could be an entrepreneur (Casson 2000) or should be exposed to entrepreneurship training and development (Gibb 2002a, 2002b). Governments having identified a link between entrepreneurship and economic development and have been formulating education policy for educational environments that encourage an entrepreneurial spirit — see for instance work by Stevenson & Lundström (2002) on Netherlands, Australia, Finland and the UK. Many in political, educational and academic circles have arrived at the conclusion that a country would benefit if its people were more innovative and entrepreneurial and to kick start this entrepreneurship at the vocational level has been cited as a potent development factor. Therefore research questions of the study is as follows:

    DISCUSSION
    The Research Questions in the light of literature review and document analysis also supported by case studies
    Q1- Can Entrepreneurship be evolved through the program initiated by PVTC and be considered sustainable?
    Solomon (1989) described that every person has an entrepreneurial will. Schultz (1980) also has the same opinion that every person has the capability to be an entrepreneur and that capability can be developed through education. Holmes and Schmitz (1990) concluded that, “various experiences have already provided evidence that entrepreneurial skill can be developed through practice, preparation, and education”. One of the problems in understanding the idea of entrepreneurship is the use of terminology. For example, the phrase “entrepreneurship education” is generally used in the United States. But it is infrequently used in the UK and only seldom used in Europe. “The aim of entrepreneurship education as explored by, Gibb (1993: p.15), is to build up innovative behavior, ability and characteristics with the improvement of learners‟. In the other words it is cognition by developing the depth of understanding about the particular fact being studied. It was observed by Cotton (1991) that what helps to develop people with innovative ideas. Schaper and Casimir (2007) observation lie within a broader view in which entrepreneurship lessons should preferably help produce such result by developing alumnae who are more enthusiastic to start their own profitable venture. Pichler (June 2009) suggest that “Theory of Economic Development” by Schumpeter (2008) should be taken into consideration while making entrepreneurship policy of a country for economic and social development. Stevenson and Lundstrom, 2002, state that governments of states such as UK, Finland, Netherlands, Denmark and Australia, have, defined a link between entrepreneurship and economic development.

    Here case studies from different countries have been cited as examples of successful entrepreneurship development through technical and vocational education
    UK: In England it is a constitutional obligation that school offers all learners with work related experiences. A non-statutory framework sets out the recommended minimum practice for all young citizens. Entrepreneurship education is a key component, aiming to support young people to be more entrepreneurial. So entrepreneurship education is not necessary, but practical learning is. The Scottish Government's plan Entrepreneurship in Education — Firm to do well commits local establishment to offer entrepreneurship learning and entrepreneurial experiences for all learners. These comprise opportunity for learners aged 14 plus to practice work oriented learning associated with a related skill and to get suitable vocational education (Baron & Markman, 2000).

    Cyprus: Entrepreneurship is built-in in the national curriculum for all Vocati̇onal Educati̇on Trainings (VETs). Nonprofessional entrepreneurship programs or activities are accessible, but all courses contain entrepreneurial components according to requirement. The National plan on Entrepreneurship in Education of 2010 intends to provide entrepreneurship training for all educators in VETs (Kuratko, 2007).

    Sweden: Currently there is an elective national course called ‘Projects and Entrepreneurship,' which is developed to support the compulsory project work component of higher secondary programs. There are two other elective ‘Small and Medium Enterprise' courses at higher secondary level. All these courses may or may not be accessible to learners depending on the module they are registered in, and on where they study. Municipal Corporations run higher secondary education in Sweden, and there are regional differences in the way they apply national programs (Seashore, 2004).

    Estonia: Entrepreneurship and skills are offered in VETs in Estonia. Since 2006 entrepreneurial courses have been integrated in all national curricula for technical programs. The least is 40 credit hours (1 educational week) in all program. The average is double as long — 80 credit hours (2 educational weeks). Curriculum offer entrepreneurship courses of 120 credit hours (3 educational weeks) or extra. The challenge for entrepreneurial courses in technical education is mainly related to teaching methods. There must be a broad range of strategies to supplement instruction as a fundamental teaching instrument.

    Germany: The entire structure of curriculum for vocational and technical education lay by the Kultusministerkonfernz (Standing .Conference of Education Ministers) state that VET should give an insight into various forms of employment together with entrepreneurship, to assist a career and life plan linking own-employment (Mattare, 2006b).

    Hungary: Entrepreneurship is a necessary competency in the Hungarian national curricula. Currently, the Hungarian competency based modular technical training system offers 423 courses. Some modules include entrepreneurship courses, so entrepreneurship is offered in the most of programs. Where technical programs do not cover entrepreneurship, VET may teach it outside the required curricula, and most of them do so (Allen, K., 2007).

    Luxembourg: Entrepreneurship education is in most cases embedded in the school curricula; it can be presented in optional courses organized in parallel by VET; or it can be offered as a co-curricular activity (i.e. outside the formal school hours). Mini-organizations are used as a teaching instrument, and the government, together with the public and private sector, has set up a not for profit organization to support entrepreneurship among VETs.

    Lithuania: National framework policy on technical education describe that entrepreneurship must be included into all qualifications. So VETs are developing the most generic entrepreneurial skills (http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/files/smes/vocational/ entr_voca_en.pdf).

    These case studies have been cited to prove the effectiveness or sustainability of the entrepreneurial aspect of education in vocational education and are success stories of some countries. These are replicable models).

    Entrepreneurship as a new concept through education is a new phenomenon in developing countries. Educated youth in Pakistan also feel motivated to own their own business ventures to satisfy both their needs but also to establish their own independence. It is a concept that is fast gaining ground as it brings about an awareness of new found freedom and financial strength and independence. It however needs nurturing and guidance and it has a lot to do with education.

    Mission Statement of Punjab Vocational Training Council
    The choice of the Mission Statement which is given below is worth examination and hence an opinion survey was conducted from the stakeholders. The responses are listed below:

    Mission Statement

    “To alleviate poverty with Zakat funds by imparting demand driven skill training to “Mustahqeen-e-zakat” at their door step, involving private sector to enhance employability.”
    In this case the values and the mission spell out a new culture for a new organization. It fits in the objective to search the purpose and the sustainability of such an organization that probably does not carry the dead weight of traditional organizations:-

    i. The Mission is to utilize the Zakat fund for welfare of the society. So PVTC strives for getting its allocated sum of Zakat which it then distributes
    ii. The Mission also undertakes to alleviate poverty.
    iii. The Mission focuses on demand driven skills required at any point in time-catering to the present and preparing for the future.
    iv. The Mission focus on the deserving of Zakat as per the criteria for interpreting the Mustahqeen (deserving).
    v. The Mission is to reach out to the needy at their doorstep in every ‘Tehsil' (administrative jurisdiction like a county) or ‘District'. So this spread is in the rural and the urban, demanding large number of Vocational Training Institutions (VTIs).
    vi. The Mission is to recognize that alone PVTC cannot fulfill the task- it must involve the direct and indirect stake holders. Hence it extends its hand to the private sector to involve them in this mission.

    A Perfect Example of Public-Private Partnership – Case Study
    (An extract from the interview with Sajjid Naseer Khan)

    PVTC was established under the PVTC Act 1998 to set up and manage vocational training institutes (VTIs). The Chairman and all Members of Council are voluntary and honorary members. There are 130 VTIs that have a similar pattern of structure in all of them. There are more than 230 members known as Board of Management (BOMs), who represent various walks of life from within the local community. These BOMs have been empowered to select relevant trade, effectively manage the institutions, monitor the quality of training, and facilitate on-the-job training and also placement of the “graduates” or “pass outs” from the VTIs. The other function is also to identify and approve sites for VTIs.

    Sajid Nasser the Chief Operating Officer in his interview explained this very fact when he mentioned “a perfect example of public-private partnership”. He also explained that the organizational structure of the Board of Management at the VTI level and the Council Members at the PVTC level is the same. This enables the VTI to feel autonomous in a real sense. It is empowered to run the VTI as it deems fit for its own environment. It also enables them to choose a vocation that has demand in the area to enforce the vocation that is demand driven skill prevalent in its geographical location. BOM also monitors this quality of teaching and appraises the staff and the teachers. In a sense there is an element of competition among the VTIs to see who is proving more successful in creating demand for its graduates. In case things go wrong PVTC is always there to guide all the VTIs and the Board Members, but PVTC does not feel responsible for these setbacks as they have empowered the BOMs to devise strategies to overcome set-backs.

    vii. And it is a part of the Mission of PVTC to enhance the employability of those who undergo the skill development. It also envisages that the employability of the skill worker is possible on two accounts. First in that training should be such that the market immediately accepts and the skilled worker adapts to the work demand. And the second is that the private sector is fully involved in all aspects of the development so that it can as an employer immediately accept the worker in his enterprise.

    viii. That PVTC has also started the trend to create entrepreneurs who are job providers not job seekers.

    Creating Micro-entrepreneurs among the Vocational Trained – a Case Study
    One such experience has been the Vocational Training Institutes (VTIs) which have also helped the deserving students to fulfill this dream by giving them the one time grant of Rs. 5000 at the end of their training program as a policy measure adopted and implemented by PVTC. This has helped them in initiating their micro-ventures where they become micro-entrepreneurs. Some areas have shown more receptivity to it than others. For example, in the south zone of Punjab comprising of Multan, Muzaffargarh, Vehari, Bahawalnagar, Bahawalpur and Rahim Yar Khan have the highest ratio of self-employed. There are several reasons for the high ratio of micro entrepreneurial ventures mentioned above.

    Firstly, industry is scattered throughout the region therefore self-employment is a better option rather than joining the industry as they prefer being near their home town. Secondly, this region is considered to be the home for traditional handicraft, traditional embroidery and dress making, an age old vocation. Thus providing a chance for the females to set up their own ventures after they have gone on to complete their training with the vocational training institute (VTIs). Thirdly, the small farmers (lessee) who fall within the definition of “mustahqeen a zakat” (those deserving of Islamic welfare fund support) cannot afford to send their sons and daughters for jobs away from home as everybody has to work on the farms. For them the breakthrough came when training in the agro-based courses was offered in the agricultural field e.g. artificial insemination and tractor repair. Or they could set up micro-ventures to provide services to the people of the area in trouble shooting for electrical and home appliances, motorcycle repair, auto repair, industrial machinery support, and as machinist, tractors repair mechanics and so forth.

    ix. The values of PVTC have evolved over time as the organization has started commanding loyalty.
    x. The Mission Statement allows for everyone to experience and learn.
    xi. Finally the value culture creates leaders at every level and the starting point is the VTI principal ship.

    The Reflection of Value Culture as observed in the narration of stakeholders during Interviews.
    The independence of these statements lies in the fact that interview were conducted miles apart in different town of Punjab. The people are clear on what the VTI stands for. Hence they contribute to the best of their capability at every level. The opinions of some of the stakeholders are recorded below:

    ‘Yes, it has brought change in life, as they say ‘No money no value', now I make clothes with my own choice and spend my money as I wish too.' Bushra Kanwal, a graduate student of VTI Faisalabad When some of the principals of VTI were asked why they chose to join PVTC, they invariably responded by saying “At first I joined this wanting to get a job. But soon I realized that what I was doing was a great mission. Now I understand the underlying values. This is my motivation” says Imran Khan Principal Burj Attari VTI. The rules and norms in PVTC and VTIs continue to evolve, with varying degree, as everyone in the organization gains experience, grows, changes, and matures. In fact, he feels the conviction and wants to outdo the other in his noble mission of welfare and development.

    “It is a promise to teach how to ‘fish' not a promise to give (dole out) at the end of the day a ‘fish'”. In the words of Saeed Khan CEO “The concept is to shift from ‘dole out' to payroll”.

    The Future of PVTC – a Case Study
    Nearly a decade down the road PVTC had to rethink its role. Sajid, who had seen PVTC through the initial 10 years, had to consider, how to reorganize or develop new strategies. He had to think what the way ahead is. On answering a question about the comparison between prevailing environments of VTI with the past, Mr. Jaffar, teacher textile designing, had to say. In 1999 when this VTI was established there was no market response. Employers were reluctant to hire these graduates as they thought that they were inexperienced and lacked practical experience. But today parties are satisfied with these young skilled professionals”. Now their ‘graduates' are not only working in the local industry but also at different VTI's” e.g. Sialkot, Sahiwal, Mandibahudin, Toba Tek Singh and Faisalabad.

    From a more institutional perspective and from the point of view of industry analysis, it was observed that the objectives were achievable and measurable. Seen from the planning perspective the current strategy seemed to be to consolidate. In the words of Sajid Khan “Now our emphasis is quality improvement and to consolidate”. But Sajid had realized that the PVTC had reached a point that it was not enough to rely on the local expertise for future growth and capacity building. If he was to make his organization competent and capable to bring out world class tradesmen, he would have to seek international support. It was also the question of producing empowered entrepreneurs competent to run successful ventures.

    McMullan & Long (1987) argue that entrepreneurship education should incorporate skill-building courses such as negotiation, leadership and creative thinking and exposure to technological innovation and new product development. Dynamic and relevant curriculum and pedagogy are needed to ensure the health and strength of an institution.

    Vocational Training Institutes are offering programs to students which are skill oriented. Therefore research question regarding effectiveness of curriculum for entrepreneurship development among students is; Q2- What kind of educational program would PVTC have to adopt for the promotion of entrepreneurship among the Vocationally Trained.

    Sajid Naseer Khan – a Case Study
    In 1998 there were no models to adopt, no paths to follow, the ‘founders' were confronted with their biggest challenge. It was like being thrown into a swimming pool and asked to swim across. What kind of institution should be created? What trades should be selected for training? What kind of training to provide? Who will design the training program? Who will conduct the training? Where will these trainees go for On-the-Job Training? Where will the classes be housed? How much of a spread is required to have an impact? How to deal with Ministry of Religious Affairs for Zakatand how to make in-roads into bureaucracy?

    Sajid Naseer, the first General Manager since its inception had the support of the founder Chairman Sikandar Khan. The two, in the beginning, worked relentlessly to lay the fundamental concept of the organization. They moved quickly to take the support of the Ministry and the Chief Minister. At the same time the Board of Management of PVTC, which had been constituted, was also a very helpful institution from the very start.

    The philosophy of a value based organization and a learning organization was the leadership style of these two leaders. PVTC had become a learning organization by virtue of the fact that it had not dogmatically adopted the professions and trades that have been offered by the vocational institutes of the past. It believed in adopting those trades that were demand driven. Hence there was room for learning, unlearning and readopting. At the first VTI, which was in Township Lahore, in 1998, they had selected to train drivers of vehicles. This vocation very soon faded out as the demand for it did not exist. The evidence to support the philosophy comes from the staff, employees, students and other stakeholders. The indepth interviews offered insight into the philosophy.

    Therefore PVTC was flexible and adaptable to the market needs right from the start. Hence whatever vocation or trade that was selected had to be demand driven. A lot of consultation would take place between the Board members and with the prospective employer. Even, the students who had joined were also asked to give their opinion abut the vocation that was in demand in the market. All this was a process of learning and adapting to the market needs.

    Developing Demand-Driven Training Programs for VTI – a Case Study
    Punjab is the largest province of Pakistan having a population of 79,429,700 which is 56.5% of entire population of Pakistan. It is also the most densely populated province with a density of 386.8 people per square kilometer, whereas the total area of Punjab is 205,345 square kilometer.

    In a province of this size there has to be complicated problems because of population growth, such as: - Pressure on big cities, pressure on educational institutions, pressure on transport, and pressure on employment. There are also numerous trades that are required as a support system for a growing society. However, Pakistan does not have a guild system where various vocational skills are taught to create skilled labor.

    Therefore, Pakistan which has always faced a problem of education, has constantly struggled to educate and train its manpower. In the 1970's, there was enormous pressure to train vocational skills as Middle East and Gulf Countries were absorbing Pakistan skilled labor as they were opening up and expanding cities and setting up industries. It was the period of oil boom. Pakistani skilled labor force was in demand. But soon the vocational skill program collapsed as there was no formal infrastructure to support its training. Moreover, it was totally in the hands of the public sector and there are huge inherent problems in a developing countries public sector. Illegal demands were placed on the students seeking vocational training. The tradition of training which was already week and out dated almost vanished because of lack of financial support and teaching staff.

    Consequently, the need was always felt to have vocational training institutions to upgrade the skills and to certify the standards. Therefore, the creation of PVTC was a need felt to have an institution to provide quality training in various areas.

    Dr. Saima Naeem, VTI Sheikhupura says that “education that deals with professionalism is called Vocational Education and technical education falls under this form of education. It is that branch of learning and teaching that falls in the field of trade, commerce, agriculture, technology, medicine, engineering etc. Technical education provides technicians for all types of trade. She goes on to say “that the progress of a country depends upon its industrialization without which a handsome economy would not be possible.” Hence preparing people to do their jobs becomes a function of the government and economy managers in a State. Dugan Laird says in his book ‘Approaches to Training and Development', “Before people can perform their tasks properly, they must master the special technology used. This means acquisition of knowledge and skill”. This is precisely what PVTC is aiming for. “Thus training may be defined as an experience, a discipline, or a regimen which causes people to acquire new, predetermined behaviors”. He further goes on to say, “To perform their assigned tasks properly, all workers need to master and apply the unique technology governing their tasks. So here is where they are ready for responsibilities beyond their initial assignment” or status in life.

    Saeed Khan very proudly mentions that “we have a Quality Oriented Training System”, he continued to explain that by system he means a whole range of activities “such as performance appraisal of trainers and principal, training cycle, curriculum designing, selection and acquisition of equipment and computers. The objective of the training cycle was to satisfy market and employer needs.” But he explained with emphasis that in the beginning it was not all that easy as it may seem today. “We did not know this. So we had to develop our own curriculum or syllabus for our training programs”. He says that we had to search for information on the internet. At that moment in time, they just had a few teachers or trainers and one principal. According to Sajid Naseer, “At that time we had some engineers whom we had hired for teaching our programs. These were asked to prepare the curriculum.' Hence this is where the danger lies. Unless professionals design standardized vocational training program according to international standards-Pakistan will suffer.

    Once the curriculum was in place, Saeed Khan went on to explain that ‘we had to then decide what should be the entrance criteria of a student for a particular trade”. He explained that they questioned themselves “what job requirements are to be met?” ‘What computer specs to be adopted?”

    “What skills to develop, what knowledge to be included? For example, what does the plumber needs to know? What should be the level of his education so that he can read the drawing – this was the knowledge element in this trade.” Thus a standard format of the curriculum was developed for each trade. Each student in our program is entitled to get a manual. The manual also specifies the equipment.”

    Eventually, each teacher is required to develop lesson plans for each subject, each day. In this way the teaching becomes affective and purposeful. With regards to the teacher the statement by the top management was unanimous. They consider all “teachers as assets and the selection is on merit.”

    The first step taken after recruiting a teacher is to arrange an orientation of PVTC/VTI so as to acquaint the teacher to the work culture. The teachers are also required to go through regular training program for Trainers and for Principals. However on verification it was found that it was an irregular practice. Moreover there were no benchmarks to adopt. These were different levels of a program at different VTIs. It seemed proper to question one self, but as amateurs it was not possible to fulfill the requirement. For the first time Sajid felt that time had come to seek help. But the question was how and where?

    Based on its in-house capabilities PVTC developed various courses and developed a training cycle for its VTIs. This development process served a very positive purpose and PVTC has grown over the years in repute and size. The training process has been recorded in one of the documents of PVTC. It is being reproduced below (Figure 1):


    Click Here to Zoom
    Figure 1: Training Process of VTIs.

    Objective evaluation of trainees is done at the end of training program and certificates are issued. Finally, to complete the training cycle, feedback is received from the end users; that is, employers, to rectify any deficiencies and induct improvements in the training program. So far thirty eight curricula of different trades had been developed and were in use at various VTIs (2007).

    A list of vocations that were taught at VTIs of PVTC is given below (Table 1). However it was difficult to establish that this wide array of vocation could all be taught. There was hardly any evidence to support this and this was the cause of concern.


    Click Here to Zoom
    Table 1: A List of Vocations

    Theoretically there was awareness of designing concepts of training programs. But expertise within PVTC was not in evidence. Hence this was a major drawback that became evident as PVTC grew and demand for new vocations also grew. It would have to seek external Technical Assistance Support for properly designed programs to be taught. Training was after all the blood line of PVTC.

    Third Research Question
    Aim of our study is also to deal with the concept of utilization of “Zaka't” for the purpose of supporting institutions of vocational education. Many scholars now hold the view that allows “Zakat” funds to be used- for the education of the people, for public works, and for any other pressing need of the Muslim community (al-Qaradawi, 2002:2:136-145; Sabiq, 1990:2:463- 464).

    However before we go direct into the question of utilizing Zakat for the purpose of vocational education, we must understood the concept of Zakat in Islam and the development of the Law of Zakat over the 1400 years. It is essential to examine the Islamic Jurist work on the subject and the interpretation of Prophetic tradition and the Quran.

    In the “Islamic Law of Obligatory Alms (Zakat) (2011) compiled as a manual by the UK Centre for Legal Education; The Authors, Professor Javaid Rehman, Aibek Ahmedou and Editor Shaheen Mansoor, have cited numerous sources of Law as reference of the evaluating of the Law pertaining to Zakat. This Manual gives the background of the origins and sources of Islamic Law. They have also dilated on Zakat law and basic concepts of Zakat. In doing so they have given the history, the theory of Zakat and the understanding of the classical and modern form of Law.

    The heart of this obligatory law is that Zakat, which may be understood as a system of taxation, is more them that. It is a “moral, spiritual and legal obligation for Muslims”.

    This manual has emphasized that it is essential to familiarize the researcher on the subject, with a variety of text written by both the Muslims Scholars as well as non-Muslims Scholars because analytical material compiled by non-Muslims are essential to develop the understanding of Zakat Law, how it has evolved through 1400 years of Islamic History (p-6) (Manual 2011 UK CLE).

    The manual has also defined Zakat meaning to ‘purify', “foster” or “grow”. It is one of the central pillar of Islam. In the legal context it is an obligation on every Muslim to pay 2.5% of the income he earns in a calendar year. And it is not a charity. Though it has parallel in Christianity and Judaism yet it is a separate legal obligation in Islam but not in the other two religions. Hence, it has a spiritual and economic effect. It has been mentioned on 32 occasions in isolation and 82 occasions in conjunction with other pillars in the Quran. The central verse wherein it has been cited in Quran is the 2:43. But there is also an indication as to whom Zakat is to be allocated to in the verse 9:60 which reads:

    “Alms are for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to Truth); for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of God, and for the way farer; (thus is it) ordained by God, and God is full of knowledge and wisdom”.

    On analysis we realize the verse classifies the recipient of Zakat as follows (1) the poor, (2) the needy, (3) the administrator of Zakat, (4) those who converted to Islam recently or are going to convert, (5) prisoners captured in the war, (6) debtors, (7) soldiers who fought for the state or scholars who study and (8) travelers.

    As the Quran does not expand on details of the recipients, the responsibility fell on the shoulders of Muslim Jurist. However the major contribution was made by the Islamic Jurists after the Ninth century (Manual 2011 UK CLE).

    The Zakat Ordinance 1980 of Pakistan is cited as a good example of modern legislation. This law devised a national mechanism to collect Zakat and it specified that funds obtained as Zakat were to be mainly used for social welfare under the Hanafi interpretation but by applying the Quranic and Prophetic rules.

    The other example that can be cited is the constitution of Saudi Arabia which lays down “Zakat is to be levied and paid to legitimate recipient” (Article 21). But it varies from country to country in terms of its legality.

    Research question regarding this aspect of our study is;

    Q3- Can a model' of utilization of ‘Zakat' be developed for being used by institution for development of entrepreneurs and tradesmen produced by VTIs.

    It is part of the belief of Islam that Zakat is ordained and is one of the 5 pillars of Islam. It is mandatory to pay Zakat- Percentage of which is determined by Islam. It is a welfare fund for those who fall in the description of “Mustahqeen” (deserving). It is also a part of the belief that paying the Zakat un-encumbers the earning and increases the earning manifold. Each Muslim does his own calculation on the basis of percentage of his assets and pays voluntarily. Just the thought of having fulfilled the “Commandments” is satisfying and exhilarating. It has a “grab-you-by-the-heart quality”

    Zakat has always been a very emotional subject. It is ordained through the Quran that every Muslim will pay Zakat and create a welfare fund to support the poorest of the poor and the deserving in the society. The rich have a collective responsibility of taking care of the poor and disadvantaged groups. There is no backing out of this obligation for the Sunni Muslim. Hence, any misuse of the fund is condemnation by the society and damnation in the hereafter.

    Zakat as the Inspirational Factor – a Case Study
    On the question what made you join PVTC, Imran says, “I responded when I read the advertisement in the newspaper about the post of principals in VTIs, I thought I must apply and I succeeded”. He said that he wanted to be a part of the noble cause “Akharat bhee ban jayee”, (ensuring my life here after). He quoted Wasif Ali Wasif, an intellectual scholar who said” if you work with zest and passion, it becomes “Ebaadat”, (religious devotion) and he believes in that.

    Ahmed Imran Principal VTI Civil Lines Faisalabad, considers it sadqaee jariha (continuous charity) if his services can provide placement and jobs to deserving students.

    Zakat: The Philosophy and the Religious Factor
    The philosophy of Zakat and how it is utilized in the PVTC and the process of utilization has to be in accordance to the interpretation of the transaction and is known as ‘Tamleeq'- the legitimate transfer of ownership. The Model given below is based on a process developed at PVTC.

    However, it has now been modified and developed as a Model by the authors for understanding how Zakat can be utilized for educational purpose (Figure 2).


    Click Here to Zoom
    Figure 2: Zakat Fund Utilization Model for Vocational Training (Model developed by Iqbal M. Khan).

    Poverty is a socio-political product of the systems we live in. It is a problem that has never been successfully addressed. “Consequently it is important to realize, laborers and workers, artisans, and craftsmen, tillers and peasants are as indispen sable as scholars and thinkers, savants and sages, leaders and rulers”, Ghamidi in ‘The Economic Law of Islam'. Undoubtedly, mismanagement and misallocation of funds are the two main causes of poverty in countries like Pakistan. Poverty it has been seen cannot be solved by providing everyone with soft loans or micro credits. There was a need to re-think strategy for poverty alleviation. Where is the potential to overcome poverty? Hence, the ‘founders' realized after deep consideration that poverty alleviation strategy cannot be alienated from the ideological moorings. Solution to the poverty problem lies in the Islamic economic way of life.

    The Islamic way of poverty alleviation focuses on developing human resource (tadreeb) and teaching gainful skill and providing relevant job opportunity. The Government in power in Punjab in the second half of the 1990's felt that the Zakat and Ushr Ordinance which was promulgated in 1980 could be seriously considered for the vocational training and skill development. The following government did not hesitate to continue with the good work and facilitated its working. This thinking prevails across many societies in the Muslim Countries. What is important is to under-stand the concept of Islamic Philosophy of Economic Equality (Adal). The rich must support the economically disadvantaged groups. It is as obligatory as the prayers in Islam. The modern economists consider Zakat as the chief source of maintaining economic welfare for economic development. But where does Zakat come from? How is it collected? How Zakat is instituted? Were some of the questions needing answers. Therefore, the basic tenets of Zakat and the obligation of Zakat are:

    i. It is obligatory upon a Muslim to pay Zakat according to the way prescribed by the Shari'ah from his wealth, produce and livestock, if he is liable to it. “Zakat is only for the poor and the needy” Al-Quran (60:9).

    ii. After the salah (the prayer), it is the second most important worship ritual in Islam. It has been regarded as a ritual of worship. This has been made evident by the Quran as the second manifestation of faith.

    iii. Zakat is a share imposed on one's wealth and has been reserved for Allah. We have been directed to give this money to our rulers so that the needs of the state can be met.

    iv. There is evidence in all the major religions regarding the obligation to pay Zakat as a commandment of God (Economic Law of Islam).The objective of zakat can be determined from its very name. The root of the word zakat in Arabic has two meanings: ‘purity' and ‘growth'. It thus means the wealth given in the way of Allah to obtain purity of heart.

    v. Zakat is the minimum financial obligation on a person of spending his wealth in the way of God. Merely paying zakat is enough to attach a person's heart with the Almighty.

    Text taken from ‘Economic Law of Islam' by Ghamidi
    The philosophy behind the system of zakat is to assist the deserving poor ‘Mustahqeen”. As a traditional religious institution Zakat, involves both the payment and the distribution of an alms (tax) given by Muslims who enjoy some surplus to certain kinds of deserving poor Muslims. The Muslim religious law (Hanfi School) stipulates that zakat is to be paid once a year on wealth held for more than one year. The Zakat rate is 2.5% on wealth annually and Ushr is 5 percent tax paid on the produce of land, not on the value of the land itself. Zakat and Ushr are paid to groups as specified in Quran, such as the poor, the needy, widows, orphans, the disabled, the students of traditional religious schools and the collectors and distributors of Zakat.

    For a Muslim, paying Zakat is mandatory just as important as his prayers, but he has the right to question its utilization. The obligation to do so is inherent in the fact that Islam lays down the religious criteria. Hence, the visibility of its proper utilization makes it easy for the Muslim to contribute, his share of Zakat for onward distribution to disadvantaged groups as specified in the Quran. Sajid Khan was of the opinion that PVTC accounts should be on the website of the PVTC for the information of the public at large. He was expressing the need for transparency of distribution of the Zakat funds and its utilization. This level of confidence was fully supported by his CEO Saeed Khan who said “Our accounts are audited by Ferguson Chartered Accountants, a highly reputable firm. And a unique achievement of PVTC is that we have also the Quality Audit”.

    The Non-Mustahq – a Case Study
    Despite this there is a stray case of utilizing Zakat by a ‘non-mustahq'. But the allure of the VTI and the training of professional skill is strong. We came across this interesting case and its honesty has its own value. It's narrated by Mubashir brother of Ms. Mubashira, a graduate of VTI Jhang. Belongs to a family of 8 with only two bread earners. “We are not zakat takers but I knew that the education of the VTI is very good and authenticated, the environment of study is also very good especially for girls and their teachers are also very good. Therefore my family and I wanted my sister to study from here. For this reason we came repeatedly to VTI for admission and after one year my sister got admission. We know we are not deserving, Alhamdolillah, but there's no other reputable institution for girls to study for the vocational education. We gave the Rs.500 per month to our poor neighbors and will also give Rs.5000 at the end of the course to some deserving of zakat money. I admit that we used this support for my sister's future but we are not keeping the money to ourselves but giving to righteous deserving person.

    We are not educating our sister for doing a job but for her own betterment. If she does not get a job she can open her own tuition center as self-employed option.

    CONCLUSION
    This research was one of the most comprehensive ever undertaken in the area of vocational training and entrepreneurship. The observation is as follows:

    There is a lack of research on vocational training and entrepreneurship education. So this research endeavored to add literature on vocational training and entrepreneurship education. The study also explains the concept and philosophy of ‘Zakat'. It follows the progress of this institution and records the various successes such as the role model of a public-private ownership, a value based organization, a learning organization, an entrepreneurial organization and a highly innovative institution. The research finds out that pedagogical skills offered by PVTC's are not effective for entrepreneurial potential development among students. In response to our first two research question is evidence of successful programs run in other countries and sustainability and it also has determined the nature of these education programs.

    Teaching approaches appear to be incorporate and VTI lectures do not appear to have relevant entrepreneurial skills, knowledge or training. There are serious short comings in the VTI curriculums and absolutely no entrepreneurship education within PVTC. Hence, PVTC would now need a serious capacity enhancement to meet the need of entrepreneurship education and its pedagogy. If the curriculum is now designed and upgraded to the contemporary requirement, this program will be consider sustainable. There is evidence to suggest that it has aroused considerable interest in this education, skill and qualification. The Zakat Fund Utilization Model has stood the best of time in Punjab for PVTC. The debate it had generated has finally been laid to rest. The edicts by the religious scholars have appeased the criticism. Hence, it has now developed into a Model that can be replicated.

    Research is required for entrepreneurial curriculum development and training of teaching methodologies to PVTCs' instructors, students and practitioners. Both PVTC's success and challenges present important lessons that are of interest and use to others seeking to unleash the potential of public-private alliances, and to provide innovative and sustainable solutions to address entrepreneurship for elimination of unemployment. This study further opens the horizons of future research on the topic of pedagogical skills of technical education for entrepreneurship development among the VTIs.

  • Top
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • References
  • References

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  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • References
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