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Girl appearing for Al Khidmat Foundation's 'Bano Qabil' aptitude test in Karachi. Image Credit: Jamaat-e-Islami.

Karachi: Tens of thousands of girl students appeared for an aptitude test in Karachi to get admission into free Information Technology courses that could improve their job prospects.

Jamaat-e-Islami’s non-profit Al Khidmat Foundation has conducted the test at the famous Bagh-e-Jinnah, next to the mausoleum of Pakistan’s founder, Quaid-e-Azam, Mohammad Ali Jinnah. The venue is otherwise mostly used for big public meetings by political parties.

The Al Khidmat conducted the test under its “Bano Qabil” (become qualified) initiative aimed at providing scholarships for professional education and training of the youth who can’t afford to get enrolled in private universities that charge hefty fees.

Al Khidmat CEO, Naveed Ali Baig, said that the “Bano Qabil” aptitude tests had been planned much earlier but were delayed as the foundation was involved in flood relief activities in the province.

Up to 60 per cent of thousands of male students who appeared for the first phase of the “Bano Qabil” test held in October were qualified to be enrolled in the free IT programme.

Baig held out the assurance that scholarships for IT education would be offered to all the girl students who took the test.

He thanked the donors and philanthropists who had been constantly supporting the free education and training drive of Al Khidmat.

Who’s behind IT programmes?

Baig told the audience that vice-chancellors, heads and faculty of IT education departments of the leading universities had been engaged for designing the IT courses.

Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman said the initiative is also aimed at women’s empowerment.

The aptitude test would benefit thousands of girls belonging to low and middle-income families who can’t afford admission to private universities in Karachi.

The “Bano Qabil” initiative wouldn’t just end once students complete the progamme as efforts would be made to provide jobs to its graduates, he said.

The JI leader said 100,000 boys and girls had registered to appear for the aptitude tests.

The girl students, who completed their education up to the Intermediate college level, are eligible to appear for this aptitude test. The duration of the IT programme is four to six months.

The courses will be offered in the fields of freelancing, web development, graphic designing, digital marketing, Amazon virtual assistant and other job-oriented streams.

The Al Khidmat, in collaboration with different institutions, intends to establish 10 to 12 centres in Karachi to conduct the courses that are likely to begin in January.

The girl students and their parents and guardians appreciated the arrangements at Bagh-e-Jinnah for the test.

The Al Khdimat Foundation has a footprint of its charitable and relief activities all over Pakistan but its “Bano Qabil” initiative as of now is limited to Karachi.

The aptitude test, both for boys and girls, was conducted in the evening due to the pleasant night-time weather of Karachi as otherwise special arrangements are required to protect the students from sunlight, the foundation said.