ISLAMABAD: Jamia Naeemia Lahore has agreed to establish a business incubation centre at its premises by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Shaoor Foundation for Education and Awareness (SFEA), Islamabad.

According to the MoU, the incubation centre is the first of its kind and will be established on 6,500 square feet in the new building of Jamia Naeemia in Mughalpura, Lahore. The purpose of this initiative is to serve the cause of economic mainstreaming of madressah students and graduates, so that they can benefit from socio-economic opportunities.

The centre will provide basic entrepreneurial training, incubation facility, mentorship and networking opportunities to madressah students and graduates. It will also serve as a knowledge centre for peace and civic education and enhance the employability and soft skills of students.

SFEA Executive Director Syed Ali Hameed said that efforts have been made for mainstreaming of madressahs and their inclusion in the job markets.

“However, preparing students to take entrepreneurial journeys, providing skills to secure jobs and economic opportunities for themselves and others, meanwhile, inculcating a sense of civic and peace education is the best way forward towards madressah reforms,” Mr Hameed said.

He said that madressahs are meant to impart Islamic education to students so they can become productive members of society.

“Therefore, providing them economic opportunities would not only empower the young people who do not get opportunities otherwise, but also prepare a pool of responsible citizens contributing in the country’s economy,” he added.

Dr Allama Raghib Hussain Naeemi, the principal of Jamia Naeemia said that young men and women from religious seminaries need society’s patronage.

He said that the inclusion of Jamia Naeemia and Jamia Sirajia within the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Pakistan would give rise to a new era for madressahs.

Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2020