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The importance and value of Education for developing the quality of human resource is undeniable. Education is considered as one of the most important element for nation’s development. However, in case of Pakistan’s education sector, there are several challenges which influence the education system to attain its full potential. In Pakistan, 22.8 million children are out of schools which create huge gap for the individual to gain access to education. Moreover, the literacy rate is below the global average which create significant gender disparity with 70% male literacy rate and 49% female literacy rate. Along with this, budget allocation for education is quite low in percentage terms of GDP, which results in lack of required resources in education.

Challenges to education sector in Pakistan are multifaceted that include issues of accessibility, quality, governance and other socio-economic factors. Even in education sector, the Higher /Professional education and its accessibility (due to low income of people & higher educational expenses) to the children remains a big challenge. For overcoming the challenges in Higher Education sector, there are few social organizations which have take the lead to supporting the education by providing scholarships, loans etc. One such organization which is changing the landscape of accessibility to higher/professional education in Pakistan is “Ihsan Trust”.

Ihsan trust developed as the non-profit organization which aims to provide financial assistance through interest free loan as per the principles of Islam to look after the higher education of students (in need of financial assistance) needy based on purely “Need cum Merit” basis thus encouraging the socio-economic development and uplift the society. This results in increase in economic activities for the prosperous society which contribute for the economic development of Pakistan.

The amount of loan depends on the need and eligibility of selected student. The repayment process is designed in a manner to collect the loan amount at utmost ease and mutual consent which is nominal during the study period as token repayment. The token repayment amount depends on the financial position of the beneficiary student and his/her family. Once the degree program (for which the loan facility provided) completed, the amount of repayment is adjusted as per the income level of students and this is also, always mutually agreed.

For supporting the education, since 2010 Ihsan Trust has been providing the interest free loan facility for students seeking higher education in Pakistan for which, it has signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and working with more than 165 Universities and professional bodies across Pakistan. Ihsan Trust has provided so far provided loans to the tune of PKR 01 Billion (Pak Rupees One Billion) to around 4,000 students out of which, 2500 have completed their degree and started their career in their respective field.

The services of Ihsan Trust are not only limited to providing Interest free loan facility for the Higher Education, but it also supports different education programs as well. These include 70% funding of IBA’s National Talent Hunt Program (NTHP) which bring the best talent from the under privileged areas of country. Similarly, Ihsan Trust also provided 100% scholarship to 100 students of TCF (The Citizens Foundation) and 65 students of Green Crescent Trust for the continuation of their education at intermediate level. The proportion of fee contribution by the Ihsan Trust to total fees depends on level of fees which range from 30% to 80%.

The number of Universities with which Ihsan Trust is working and the number of students needing financial assistance is continuously increasing. With aim to provide financial assistance to atleast 10,000 students by the year end 2027, there is a need for joining hands with Ihsan Trust so as to foster a “Need Blind Admission” culture in Pakistan, with eligible students knowing Ihsan Trust is there to help & support them. May Allah accept all our sincere efforts-Ameen.

Article jointly penned by Ms Jaweriya & Mr Fayyaz-ur-Rehman Khan (G.M Ihsan Trust)