Stanbic Bank Uganda hosted its inaugural Education Forum which discussed how the private sector can support the government in enhancing education with a focus on skilling students.
The forum which was organized under the theme, ‘What next for Uganda’s Education system; A private -public dialogue’, cited the need for stronger public-private partnerships in delivering the necessary reforms.
Speaking during the forum at the Sheraton Kamapala Hotel, Stanbic’s Chief Executive Anne Juuko said, “Stanbic’s core Corporate Social Investment is education with a focus on equipping students on life skills, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship skills. All our education programmes such as the Stanbic National Schools Championship are tailored to enhance creativity and build capacity among the leaders and job creators of tomorrow.”
She added, “We encourage creativity and innovation with the aim of transforming our economy. We want future generations that see opportunities in providing solutions to the needs of our communities while sustaining longevity and thus creating more jobs which stimulate wages and business profitability. It can be and we feel an obligation to help make it so.”
Juuko said 80% of Uganda’s population currently stands at about 42 million and is under the age of 30. Of this, only 7.5% finish primary school, 5.2% finish secondary school and a paltry 0.4% gain admission to tertiary and vocational institutions.
“In hosting this Forum, our objective as Stanbic Bank, is to provide an open platform to promote dialogue between the government and private sector to identify solutions to the gaps within the sector and form tangible partnerships that work towards bridging those gaps,” she said.
Dr. Elly Karuhanga the chairman Private Sector Foundation (PSFU) while speaking at the Forum thanked Stanbic Bank for their ideological commitment and strategy towards education and skilling. “PSFU has been working with the government of Uganda and especially the Ministry of Education and Sports in supporting students in internship and apprenticeship to prepare them for the job market. The Foundation has so far supported 2000 students who have been placed in several companies which has given them exposure. This has in turn exposed the teachers to what employees need at the work place.”
While representing the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Sports the Assistant Commissioner Primary Education, Dr. Tony Mukasa Lusambu said partnerships are vital for Uganda’s education sector to move to the next level.
“The Ministry of Education and Sports has a vision for quality education and sports for all. However, we also appreciate that to achieve this, public and private partnerships must be encouraged at all levels. More importantly, the innovations being shared with us, such as the National Schools Championships, help make the school curriculum more relevant to our times. The Ministry will continue working with the private sector as we seek to reform the education sector for the better.”
The Forum which attracted a wide range of participants in the education and private sector will be held annually to inform and rally the private sector in identifying gaps and partnering with the government to help fill those gaps.