In determination to help solve some of the challenges in the education sector, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, a member of Standard Bank Group, recently instituted a scholarship scheme.
The scholarship scheme was targeted at successful candidates in the University Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). The scholarship award, worth N34.8 million, was granted to 87 successful beneficiaries who participated in the 2019 and the 2020 UTME drawn from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and included physically challenged candidates.
Stanbic IBTC said the future of any country is laid in the quality of its educational system, and added that education remained an effective tool for national socio-economic development, individual socio-economic empowerment and a powerful change agent.
However, the unprecedented occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant effect on parents and guardians, which led to the disruption of the educational development and aspirations of children across the globe. This further exacerbated the inequalities in the awards of scholarship schemes and increased school dropout rate across the country.
But Stanbic IBTC has expressed its determination to help correct this through its scholarship scheme and other interventions in the education sector.
The scholarship, which reflected the Group’s corporate social investment (CSI) initiatives, was pitched at promoting academic diligence and hard work while bridging the gap in quality education in Nigeria.
Dr Demola Sogunle, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, said the scholarship formed part of the Bank’s commitment to improving the quality of education in the country by rewarding hard work and dedication while noting that the prosperity of the nation and its citizens is hinged on the educational development of the youths.
“The effect of COVID-19 on families and businesses was devastating as the pandemic recorded increased levels of job losses and business closures across the globe. In Nigeria, the case wasn’t different as it affected the spending powers of families and businesses. For some families, the pandemic affected the educational spending of parents and guardians as their wards had to drop from schools, thus the need to mitigate this challenge,” Demola said.
The CE added that education and youth development remained a major concern to Stanbic IBTC, as the future of any nation is dependent on them. “As a firm believer in the future of the Nigerian youth, we appreciate the role of education in national development and as a factor for transforming society. That is why we instituted the scholarship to promote hard work and academic excellence among Nigerian students who desire tertiary education. It is aimed at enabling them to pursue their dreams.”
He noted that the beneficiaries could access the scholarship through the Stanbic IBTC Educational Trust Fund, in line with its commitment to driving corporate social investments and contributing to youth’s educational development. He assured Nigerians that Stanbic IBTC would continue to play a leading role in transforming lives through education.
“Stanbic IBTC is committed to promoting quality education through its scholarship scheme, to enable youths to achieve their aspirations and dreams.”