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Standard Lesotho Bank ploughs back educationally

Business

…Launches the SLB Bursary Fund

Seabata Mahao

Standard Lesotho Bank (SLB) launched a bursary fund aimed at helping vulnerable high school pupils from less privileged families to assist them in their education.

This fund is also intended to promote academic excellence and shape the next generation of Basotho’s talent in order to build national capacity and local human capital to make a meaningful contribution to the country in line with national priorities as set out in the National Strategic Development Plan II of the Government of Lesotho and Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG Goal 4) of the United Nations towards ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education while promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.

According to the SLB Acting Head of Brand and Marketing Manyathela Kheleli, the Standard Lesotho Bank Bursary Fund is intended to support 50 academically gifted students. He also noted that, the bursary fund will commence in 2022 with the initial capital injection of M650 000.00 to cover all tuition fees and living expenses of qualifying learners.

Kheleli added that, the bursary is intended for academically gifted students from families with a combined monthly income of less than M3 000.00 per month, to help them complete their secondary school education.

He said the bursary incorporates career guidance, mentorship and psycho-social support to recipients during the tenure of their sponsorship, adding that the bursary is free and open to qualifying Basotho nationals in all the districts of Lesotho who meet entry requirements.

“The SLB bursary fund is intended to decrease the numbers of pupils who drop out school, especially at high school level due to financial constraints. The fund has been recognized by the bank as an initiative that has potential to address the plight of gifted but economically challenged Basotho children who lose out on the potential to be future leaders in the country. It also responds to a gap in universal access to education and scholarships for tertiary education,” Kheleli said.

The fund is a pilot project for a period of three years, and will start with the first cohort of 50 pupils for 2022 with a sponsorship value of M650 000.00, and applications are open until January 14 2022 and applications can be delivered at any SLB branch throughout the country or emailed to slbbursaries@stanbic.com .

Kheleli mentioned that, the bank has also introduced a new and convenient school fees payment solution called BluePay. He explained that the payment and reconciliation platform that the bank is giving access to customers with reconciliation needs mainly the education institutions. And when all the integrations have been completed, the schools and other entities enrolled into the solution will be able to have a real time view of the payments that are through their accounts.

Addressing the media, Information Technology Production Assurance Manager Maria Sefuba explained that the fund is intended to promote academic excellence and shape the next generation of Basotho’s talent in order to build national capacity and local human capital to make a meaningful contribution in line with national priorities as set out by the Government of Lesotho.

“Basotho students at high school level who are from less privilege families who are high performing students with average of 70% or higher and the only students who may apply are those who who are not sponsored by other organisation. Among other benefits, there is mentorship program, tuition fees, book fees, boarding fees where applicable, uniform, capped expense benefit, career guidance, exhibitions and wellness programmes,” Sefuba said.

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