Learning for All through CSR, Articles | THISDAY LIVE

Learning for All through CSR10 Feb 2016Font Size: a / AFormer deputy governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Sarah OlabisiThe partnership between Access Bank Plc and Lagos State Government for building classrooms at Keke Nursery and Primary School will no doubt motivate teachers, develop the students and improve the learning environment, writes Obinna ChimaEducation is one of the most important drivers for ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity. Since 1990, targeted actions by a number of countries and their development partners have helped reduce by half the number of out-of-school children around the world, a World Bank report showed. Yet 61 million children today are not in school—and there is abundant evidence that learning outcomes in many developing countries are alarmingly low, especially among disadvantaged populations. This global learning crisis is a major impediment to expanding both individual opportunity and national development.That was why the aim of the World Bank Group’s Education Strategy 2020 is ‘Learning for All.’ Learning for All means ensuring that all children and youth—not just the most privileged or the smartest—not only can go to school but can acquire the knowledge and skills they need to lead healthy, productive lives, secure meaningful jobs, and contribute to society.Today, the Nigeria is faced with multiplicity of challenges ranging from high unemployment rate, poverty, lack of basic infrastructure, youth restiveness, security and political tension. In addition, the country’s dwindling revenue in the face of the significant drop in the prices of crude oil, which is its major source of revenue are threats to the desire of policy makers to support critical sectors of these economy. All these are also threat to the country achieving the global ‘Learning for All’ target.Therefore, since banks provide linkages to all sectors of the economy, they have stepped up their corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities in all the key sectors of the economy.CSR is described as an instrument, a concept or even a business model that requires companies to apply a radical change in attitude. The latter assumes a paradigm shift in business, according to which there is more to a company than return on investment and maximisation of profit.For banks, since the introduction of the Nigeria Sustainable Banking Principles, as a pillar for CSR by the Bankers’ Committee in 2012, a lot of the financial institutions have continued to support the society.That was why when in keeping to its obligation of giving back to the society, the Corporate Operations Division. Access Bank Plc recently donated a-six classroom block to Keke Nursery and Primary School, Agege, Lagos State, as part of the education intervention policy of the bank.The Executive Director Operations and IT, Access Bank Plc, Ojini Olaghere, stated that the move was part of the bank’s mission towards adding value to the environment where it operates.“Access Bank Plc has a mission among other things to add value to the environment within which it operates and our corporate social responsibility programme is one of the ways in which we have provided platform not just for the bank, but also for the employees of the bank to give back the society within which they operate.“We completed the project over a period of six months. We have other things that we are also working on. We intend to provide educational materials for the pupils; we also intend to obtain approval from SUBEB to renovate some of the other buildings within the school premises. We believe that the wish of all parents that the children will be greater than their parents. And one of the ways in which that can happen is for the children to have access to good quality education.“As a responsible corporate citizen, we believe in giving back to the society and education is one of the things very important for the future generations of this state. So under our corporate social responsibility programme, we have contributed in improving the quality of education in various schools across the country and this project is just one example of such,” she said.On his part, the Head Corporate Operations Division, Access Bank, Banjo Adegbohungbe, said he believes that an institution can add value, not just by providing products and services, but also by the people in the society benefiting.By donating the set of classrooms, he stressed that Access Bank had made meaningful contributions that improve the quality of life of the students in the school and has contributed to human capital development.“We have made infrastructural developments that improved projects in healthcare delivery, education, primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education as well as projects in sanitation, environmental improvement and several other areas. And this project is just one example of the many things that we’re doing all over the country to give back to our society. “This particular project was executed by contri

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