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Pledge to support teacher training in Uganda

28/08/2013Sustainability / Africa

Standard Chartered has made a significant donation to support the Varkey GEMS Foundation Teacher Training Programme in Uganda, an initiative that will train and provide additional skills to Ugandan teachers, helping improve the quality of education in Uganda.

This is the first time that Standard Chartered has partnered with The Varkey GEMS Foundation (VGF), with the aim of playing a positive role in promoting sustainable education. 

VGF is the philanthropic arm of international education provider, GEMS Education. It set up the pilot in May this year, in partnership with Uganda’s Ministry of Education and Sports and other Ugandan NGOs, because it believes that free training for Ugandan teachers by international educationalists could play a key role in improving the lives of the 65% of Ugandans who, according to World Bank figures, currently live in poverty. 

Speaking at the announcement of the partnership, Mr. Abdu Kibedi speaking on behalf of Hon. Jessica Alupo, the Minister of Education and Sports, said: “A young population combined with the introduction of free primary in 1997 and free secondary schooling in 2007 has led to a boom in school enrolments in Uganda over the last fifteen years.  As enrolment increases and class sizes grow, improving the quality of teaching in Uganda is more urgent than ever.  The Varkey GEMS Foundation’s Teacher Training Programme, generously supported by Standard Chartered Bank, will help more Ugandan students reach their potential.”

Herman Kasekende, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Uganda said:  “Thousands of young lives will be transformed if teachers can improve their teaching techniques, and teach children literacy and numeracy skills they would otherwise go without.  The world is waking up to the economic opportunities that Africa offers.  But improving standards in education is essential if the continent is to tackle poverty and accelerate its development.  Better educated children are proven to be healthier and wealthier and their own children are more likely to be educated too.”

The Varkey GEMS Foundation (funded by GEMS Education) has committed significant funds towards the set-up and delivery of the programme in Uganda and is seeking partners such as Standard Chartered to support the growth of the programme so that its impact can be extended as far as possible.

Varkey GEMS Foundation's Program Director, Lachlan Mackinnon, said: “I am delighted by this major contribution from Standard Chartered Bank to help the Varkey-GEMS Foundation provide teacher training in Uganda. Businesses need to do more to support education in Africa – and Standard Chartered is setting the standard for others.  We are continuing to seek other corporate partners who will support this vital work. Improving global education is as urgent a cause as improving global health.   Teacher quality has been shown to directly correlate to key economic indicators - higher lifetime earnings, low teen pregnancy and female empowerment.  Our low-cost teacher training programme addresses the common gaps in teaching standards across rural communities.”

For further information about the programme please email – Head of Corporate Affairs for Uganda.


For further information please contact:

Lauren Callie
Head of Business Communications, Africa
M: +27 (0)82 894 5581


Notes to Editors

The Varkey GEMS Foundation Teacher Training Programme develops head teachers and teaching staff to improve student outcomes through better teaching and learning.  It trains participants to become trainers and, equipped with new skills and best practice pedagogy, they are empowered to go back to their schools and embed sustainable and long-lasting changes in teaching practices. The Varkey GEMS Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, established to improve the standards of education for underprivileged children.


About Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered – leading the way in Asia, Africa and the Middle East

Standard Chartered is a leading international banking group. It has operated for over 150 years in some of the world's most dynamic markets and earns more than 90 per cent of its profits in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. This geographic focus and commitment to developing deep relationships with clients and customers has driven the Bank’s growth in recent years. Standard Chartered PLC is listed on the London and Hong Kong stock exchanges as well as the Bombay and National Stock Exchanges in India.

With 1,700 offices in 70 markets, the Group offers exciting and challenging international career opportunities for nearly 87,000 staff. It is committed to building a sustainable business over the long term and is trusted worldwide for upholding high standards of corporate governance, social responsibility, environmental protection and employee diversity. Standard Chartered’s heritage and values are expressed in its brand promise, ‘Here for good’.


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