Stanbic Bank Chief Executive Patrick Mweheire

Stanbic bank has launched the 4th edition of its National Schools Championship. The annual competition seeks to equip students with business and enterprise skills in a bid to nurture entrepreneurship, creativity and long term business thinking. It targets students at the secondary schools.

The competition launched at Hotel Africana in Kampala will be held under the theme: “Empowering the job creators of tomorrow”.

Addressing guests at the Stanbic Bank Board Chairman Japheth Katto said youth unemployment was a serious problem that continues to plague many African countries including Uganda which he said has the second youngest population in the world.

“It is therefore imperative that we ensure this young population is participating productively for the good of our country’s economy. The Stanbic Bank National Schools Championship has become a powerful platform empowering students and teachers to start their own businesses and become job creators,” he said

The bank’s Head of Corporate Social Investment (CSI) Barbara Kasekende, while addressing the audience at the launch of the event urged stakeholders to pay attention to education, saying it was a critical sector for national development.

“Uganda’s Ministry of Education, in line with the National Development Plan 2020, expects at least 20 million children and young adults between the age of 3 and 24 to pass through the education system. This is informed by the fact that 80 percent of the country’s population is under the age of 30. The reality on the ground however is that school enrolment numbers continue to decline as students advance through the different education levels,” she explained.

Ms Kasekende cited the 2017 Education Monograph report released by Uganda Bureau of Statistics in partnership with UNFPA and UKAID, which said that about 11 million children went through Primary school, representing 54.7 per cent of the number of children expected to go through the education system.

About 26 per cent (5.2 million) of this same number went through secondary school while 19.2 per cent were enrolled into tertiary institutions.

She said the statistics show a clear picture of why education should be a key focus area for both the public and private sectors. “There is need to empower young people to be able to participate in the economy despite their level of education,” she said, adding that as ss a bank: We use the National Schools Championship as a platform to impart financial literacy and life skills to these students so they can become job creators rather than job seekers. We equip them with the skills that will enable them to start their own businesses.”

Through the program students and their teachers have been able to come up with business ideas and execute them into full-fledged small enterprises, she said.