Mulanje, August 29, 2023 — Ministry of Education and International Labour Organisation have commended Standard Bank Plc for enhancing education and contributing towards child labour eradication in Mulanje district.
The stakeholders were speaking at Gambula Primary School when Standard Bank made a donation of K10.2 million worth of educational materials to the Limbuli Education Zone.
Standard Bank has made the donation using proceeds raised from this year’s Be More Race.
Dyson Mmina, Standard Bank Branch Manager for Limbe, said the donation is a response to the recent appeal made to private sector by Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) after a research by International Labour Organisation (ILO) exposed shortage of educational materials in the zone.
“As Standard Bank we were alerted by Teachers Union of Malawi that schools in Limbuli Primary School Zone including Gambula were heavily affected by Tropical Cyclone Freddy as their teaching and learning materials were washed away,” he said.
Mmina said every year proceeds from the Standard Bank Be More Race are allocated to supporting the Education sector, hence the designation of Gambula for 2023.
He said that the bank understands the role of education in safeguarding children from being exploited and participating in child labour practices prevalent in the district.
“Over the years, the race has developed a track record as a socially responsible corporate entity. The investment at this school fulfills our pledge to invest back into communities and continue to be a reliable partner for development more especially in the education sector. Today we have donated 3,750 textbooks to the education district including core subjects such as Mathematics and English,” added Mmina.
Grace Milner, Director of Basic Education in the Ministry of Education who was the guest of honor said the books will alleviate numerous challenges the zone has been facing as a result of shortage of education material.
“The Ministry has shortage of books, we greatly appreciate Standard Bank for moving a step further through Be More Race to help us. The materials will help the learners as well as the ministry to have up-to-date books that are a scarce commodity in pour schools,” said Milner.
She added that the multi-beneficial donation will improve delivery of teachers as learners will be exposed to great references.
“It’s a great challenge when schools have no textbooks, teachers fail to delivery accordingly and enhance learners’ understanding. Textbooks help learners to have references in classrooms, therefore, learners get things easier when educational materials are available,” she added.
Acknowledging the impact of Tropical Cyclone Freddy to education, the education director said that basic education was severely hit as classrooms, textbooks, school feeding equipment and educational materials were damaged.
Expressing her gratitude to Standard Bank, Patience Matandiko, Technical Officer at International Labour Organization (ILO) Malawi said that the donation is a catalyst for development to the nation as well as improving productivity of learners.
“The donations have a great impact in reducing child labour because one of the courses of child labour is the lack of adequate of resources in schools. Therefore, the learners will be motivated to go to school and escape child labour that comes during their idle times,” said Matandiko.
She added that the organization is yet to make assessment of child labour elimination in the district.
“For the past four years ILO has been supporting the government of Malawi in interventions aimed at eradicating child labour. We are working with other organisations to come up with evaluation strategies on ACCEL project and other initiatives,” said Matandiko.
This year the Bank has reiterated its commitment to serving the community by publishing its Report to Society alongside its Annual Financial Report.
The Report to Society is a documentation of the Bank’s Social Economic and Environmental (SEE) initiatives that enable the organisation to operate a sustainable and profitable business entity.