Mpumalanga Business 2021-22

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REALISING DREAMS THROUGH QUALITY EDUCATION

Standard Bank is helping teachers and care-givers learn new skills.

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n Mpumalanga we express our commitment to the people of the province through our corporate social investment work.

The power of education to drive change in South Africa remains undeniable. Unfortunately, many in our country, because of their personal circumstances, still struggle to access a quality education. Standard Bank takes an active role in helping these young people realise their dreams through financial support and training initiatives. We believe that all South Africans deserve a quality education and as such Standard Bank invests in improved educational outcomes and skills development in multiple ways. We prioritise education in our corporate social investment (CSI) programmes and invest in work readiness programmes, through our internal learnership and graduate programmes. In 2019, following an in-depth review of our impact and effectiveness over a five-year period, we developed a refreshed CSI strategy, which focuses MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2021/22

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specifically on Early Childhood Development (ECD) and Foundation Phase education. This is based on extensive empirical research which demonstrates that developmental stimulation during the early years of childhood, well before a child enters the formal schooling system, are critical to future intellectual, emotional and physical wellbeing. We have seen the positive impacts of such interventions first-hand, through Standard Bank-sponsored ECD and Foundation Phase programmes. The aim of our ECD strategy is to contribute to social and economic transformation in South Africa, through supporting the development of future-fit children who are ready for a new world of work. We do this through the upskilling of ECD practitioners and Foundation Phase teachers, empowering primary care-givers to play an active role in early learning, and by supporting programmes to incorporate future skills in ECD and Foundation Phase curricula. In this way, we hope to help mitigate the risk of the fourth industrial revolution further exacerbating the extreme inequality that characterises South African society.