Utilisation Of Zakat For Higher Education
For students whose financial constraints do not permit them to pursue higher education, the Sindh Zakat Council seeks to prepare a mechanism to fund their studies through zakat.
The Chair of Sindh Zakat Council has informed the Sindh High Court that a committee of six (6) members has been formed in this regard, while three (3) more members are also being included. The development took place in compliance with the Sindh High Court’s order for financing higher education for deserving students through zakat funds.
The committee members include the Zakat and Ushr Secretary and one representative from each council and The Citizens Foundation, Karachi. The Vice-Chancellors of NED University of Engineering and Technology, University of Sindh, Institute of Business Administration, Karachi, Institute of Business Administration, Sukkur and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Medical University, Larkana, as well as Sindh Education Foundation’s managing director, are the members of the committee.
The committee will form a procedure through which deserving students for zakat-funded higher education will be selected for all public higher education institutions. The recipients will be selected on the basis of need and merit, although, it is unclear how many students will benefit from this funding.
The order passed by Sindh High Court directed that the Council shall ensure that zakat amount would be provided to universities and degree colleges of the public sector directly for proper utilisation, without any involvement of the district zakat councils.
The bench also recalled the contempt of court notice served to the Chair recently, along with the order given to the National Accountability Bureau to probe the Council’s fund utilisation. The Chair, in his written statement, informed the Sindh High Court that in a recent meeting, the Council decided to tender an ‘unconditional apology’ to the court.
Disposing of four (4) identical petitions filed over the matter, the court warned that any deviation from the stated commitment made by the Council or non-compliance with the court’s order would entail ‘legal consequences’.