Stanbic Bank lights up 43 UPE schools countrywide
BY AMBROSE GAHENE
In a bid to facilitate smooth learning in Universal Primary Schools
(UPE) in the rural and peri-urban communities in the Country, Stanbic
Bank has partnered with M-KOPA Solar Uganda to provide solar lighting
systems for candidate classes and administration blocks to enable
these students pursue their studies.
Today, Uganda Martyrs Primary School in Kampala’s Lubaga division, a
KCCA-aided school with over 1000 student population is one of
beneficiaries of this solar system.
The Stanbic/ M-KOPA partnership started in 2018 with the intention of
tackling two major problems; student absenteeism partly due to lack of
electricity and teacher absenteeism. However, we have seen this
changing over the years to address more concerns and enable both
students and teachers to reap the benefits of consistent availability
Stanbic Bank Head of Corporate Social Investment, Miss Barbara
Kasekende said: “Over 90 per cent of our Universal Primary Education
(UPE) schools are not on the national electricity grid, which is a
major handicap, considering that 70 per cent of our primary going
children are in the rural areas. As a bank, we are committed to
empowering the future leader and job creator by ensuring the basic
education needs are met. Our Social Economic Environment strategy
revolves around creating shared value in all the communities we
operate and serve.
This initiative not only provides lighting to schools in an
eco-friendly manner, but also helps to inspire these young people to
pursue their studies with greater diligence.
“Since 2018, we have grown the beneficiary numbers from 8,000 students
to over 20,000 today. This year, we shall light up 43 UPE schools in
seven districts across Uganda. Notably, this region also has the worst
performance rate in the country, but we are sure this initiative has
gone a long way to address this issue” Miss Kasekende urged.
As a result of the scheme, several schools now allow the community to
use the classrooms once the students are done which adds to the social
value of the initiative. Some schools have gone further to add a
dormitory section to allow students the time to study and also stay in
a safe environment. Another spin-off has seen candidate classes
increase in number from previous years due to the installation of
lighting, she added.
Further noting, this initiative has in the last 3 years reached out to
46,084 students in 72 schools. The beneficiary schools are also
supplemented with primary seven PLE prep books as study aids. In
addition, each assisted school received 10 to 200 plus fruit trees to
address the issues around climate change and food insecurity.
Eng David Ssali Luyimbazi, Deputy Executive Director KCCA said: “I
would like to express our appreciation to Stanbic Bank for their
cooperation in this initiative. This journey started as a means to
motivate our UPE schools teach their students with the hope of them
knowing that they can succeed in life no matter the challenges they
are going through. We also wanted our school management committees to
go the extra mile and improve their schools’ communities without
waiting for Government funding. The 10 schools that were given this
gift have shown that the school eco system can actually create change
to empower their students to excel!
“Several challenges still remain in these schools. However, with
partnerships like the one we have with Stanbic, we believe that
solutions can definitely be found,” he added.