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.
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 of power.
Stanbic Bank Head of Corporate Social Investment, Miss Barbara Kasekende said, “Over 90% of our Universal Primary Education (UPE) schools are not on the national electricity grid, which is a major handicap, considering that 70% 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.”