Stanbic Bank Uganda has launched the fourth edition of the Stanbic National Schools Championship with an aim to boost communication, essay and debating skills among secondary school students within Uganda.
The 2018 edition of the Championship was launched at Kampala Serena Hotel on Monday and will be themed ‘Empowering the job creators of tomorrow’.
According to the Stanbic Bank Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Mweheire, the competition will seek to nurture entrepreneurship, creativity and long term business thinking.
Speaking at the launch, Mweheire, explained that Uganda’s labor market cannot absorb the huge influx of graduates looking for jobs. 400,000 students graduate from university every year yet only 13,000 formal jobs are available.
A total of 6,000 students from 60 schools both government and private schools from across the country are expected to take part in this year’s competition, with 15 schools participating in each of the four regional heats.
The competition will also include a class room test, oral quiz, Essay competition, debate competition and a business skills challenge.
Stanbic Bank’s CSI, Manager Barbara Kasekende said that the success of last year’s edition, increased the level of interest in this year’s Championships.
“As a bank, we felt it would only be fair to not only increase the number places in the competition but to make it more exciting by adding new challenges, to that end,” Kasekende said.
“This year 15 schools will be given the opportunity to participate in the regionals compared to 10 last year. In addition in a major development we will be hosting business training boot camp for the finalists which will equip the students with business planning, marketing and the management skills they will need to succeed in the real world.”
The four schools that succeed in representing their regions will be tasked with developing business plan and executing it in their respective schools. The school that presents the best plan at the finals to be held in Kampala will be crowned 2018 Stanbic National Schools Champions.
Launched in 2015 as part of Stanbic Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility which focuses on education, the competition will in addition enable participating students increase their knowledge on financial issues, business that can help them to thrive beyond academic boundaries.
Last year’s competition attracted 6,000 participate from 40 schools and was won by Evelyne Mugisha from Maryhill High School in Mbarara. Mugisha who is currently in her S.6 vacation and employed says the experience boosted her passion to pursue her dream of studying business law.
For the first time, this year’s competition will feature a boot camp on business and vocational skills from May 11 to 17, where four finalist teams (one per region of Uganda) will assemble along with their patron teachers. During the boot camp, they will receive training on all aspects of business start-up and operation as well as be equipped with select vocational skills like baking, pottery and horticulture.
The winning school will get a solar system worth Shs 20 million while the first, runner-up (school) will get a water system, and the secon and third runners-up will get scholastic materials. Winning students will be be gifted with an all expenses paid trip to S.Africa (overall winner) while other runners-up will win iPads, laptops and school fees for a term.
Martin Osuban, Assistant Commissioner for Secondary Education, Ministry of Education and Sports who presided over Monday’s launch lauded Stanbic Bank for taking the initiative to support government in skilling students.
“Debating is not just a function of passing time. It is a skill building activity and there is a lot to learn. It is an opportunity for students to learn skills in public speech and critical thinking,” Osuban said.