Islamabad—Pakistan Bait ul Mal (PBM) has finalised a plan to establish 150 computer laboratories at its Women Empowerment Centres (WECs) (Vocational Dastkari Schools) to equip the vulnerable segment of society with information and communication technologies. According to an official, he said 157 Women Empowerment Centres (WEC) were working in country under Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM). The centres were being established as part of ICTs for Girls’ project, aiming to equip WECs with state of the art computer laboratories and broadband infrastructure.
Thousands of young girls from disadvantaged background would be trained by Microsoft led program. The programme is a joint effort of Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM), Universal Service Fund (USF) and Microsoft as collaborative efforts were imperative for alleviating poverty from the country.
The Digital Skills program by Microsoft comprises of 4 Cs including computing, coding, and communication and coaching to increase their employability potential.
Under this program first phase of training by Microsoft has already been completed, through which 100 Master Trainers from all across Pakistan have been trained. As part of Phase I, Microsoft was already setting up IT labs in 50 WECs in collaboration with The Universal Service Fund (USF).
The provision of modern IT labs would enable young girls to meet challenges of modern world besides learning new skills. In these centres, the poor girls would be provided IT training including web designing, networking and other skills to make them economically self-reliant. The IT and modern knowledge would help poor women to become entrepreneurs and contributors to national economy.
He said PBM was committed to empower poor women by enhancing their communication skills, providing them modern knowledge based infrastructure to help evading marginalisation. The WECs are also working in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Northern Areas. The schools offering free training to widows, orphans and poor girls in different skill including drafting, cutting, sewing, knitting, hand & machine embroidery, fax, photo copiers, printers, interior decoration, beautician, cooking, tie and dye and glass painting etc, according to the requirement of area.
Local skills are also being imparted in these schools. Managing Director Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal Barrister Abid Waheed Sheikh told that various steps had been taken for the renovation and up-gradation of Women Empowerment Centers during last three years.
The initiative exerted considerable efforts to enhance ICT technical capabilities of women, develop their entrepreneurial capabilities to promote their social and economic empowerment. While expressing his gratitude to Ministry of Information Technology, USF and Microsoft Barrister Abid Waheed underlined the significance of realizing collective responsibility in finding out the key solution for comprehensive development, poverty eradication and the empowerment of disadvantaged groups.