Battle of titans in 9th Stanbic innovation challenge

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Battle of titans in 9th Stanbic innovation challenge
Holy Cross Lake View SS students celebrate

In a spirited clash of intellect and creativity, Uganda's top schools are gearing up to tussle for top prize in the Stanbic National Schools Championship (NSC), now in its ninth season.

The stage is set, the stakes are high, and the nation's brightest minds are ready to battle for the coveted title.

The giants assemble: A battle beyond the classroom

Namilyango College, St Mary's Kisubi, Gayaza, Nabbingo, Mengo, are just a few among several esteemed institutions converging to showcase their brilliance.

These schools, representing diverse social strata, are in it to prove that their prowess extends far beyond the confines of textbooks, classrooms and lecture halls.

At least 158 secondary education colleges from across the country have been cleared to compete in this edition.

Annually, over 60,000 students from more than 100 Ugandan secondary schools participate in the various skilling challenges covering career growth and development, financial education, business and entrepreneurship, teacher training and capacity development, and psychosocial wellness.

A Legacy of excellence

Over the past years, various schools have etched their names in the annals of academic achievement.

Their students have excelled not only in academics but also in innovation, entrepreneurship, and community impact.

From groundbreaking projects to ingenious business ideas, they've demonstrated that brilliance knows no boundaries.

The championship kicked off with a grand ceremony last week, where the air buzzed with anticipation.

Dignitaries, educators, and students gathered to celebrate the spirit of innovation.

Stanbic Bank, the driving force behind this initiative, emphasized the importance of nurturing young minds into future job creators.

Sam Mwogeza, the interim Chief Executive of the bank presided over the ceremony to flag off this year’s competition with a call on parents and schools to support their children to effectively prepare their projects to improve their competitiveness.

“Entrepreneurship is the only sustainable solution for us to address the endemic challenge of unemployment among our youth. As a brand that is at the forefront of driving Uganda’s growth, the Stanbic National Schools Championship is a platform that we designed to nurture learners into the next generation of jobs and wealth creators,” said Mwogeza.

Behind every brilliant student stands a dedicated teacher. In preparation for the upcoming boot camp in May, teachers from participating schools have undergone specialised training sessions.

Armed with innovative teaching approaches, they're equipping their students to shine on the national stage.

The NSC isn't just about winning; it's about fostering a mindset of entrepreneurship. Paticipating students engage in skilling challenges that cover career growth, financial education, business acumen, and psychosocial wellnes.

In the previous season, Comboni College School from Lira district emerged as champions.

Their solar cooking innovation earned them not only accolades but also a fully installed solar system worth UGX 20 million. This victory exemplified the transformative power of creativity and practical skills.

As the countdown begins, Diana Ondoga, the manager Corporate Social Investment at Stanbic Bank says there is anticipation of clash of ideas, the camaraderie of competitors, and the birth of new ventures.

“The NSC isn't just a competition; it's a movement that propels Uganda toward a brighter, more entrepreneurial future,” Ms Ondoga says.

“So, let the battle commence! May the best minds prevail, and may brilliance shine forth as these schools vie for the ultimate prize.”

This year, schools in the Central region are dominating participation with 49 entries followed by the East with 45 slots, 36 for Western and 28 for Northern, according to Ondoga.

“Over the eight years of operation, the Stanbic National Schools Championship has benefited half a million learners, teachers and the community through direct and indirect beneficiaries and we hope to achieve new milestones with this 9th edition,” she said.

George Muteekanga, the Assistant Commissioner for Private Schools at the Ministry of Education and Sports, lauded Stanbic for sustaining National Schools Championship into an effective platform for youth skilling and nurturing a wealth creation mindset in line with the government’s economic transformation agenda.

He said gone are the days when people focused on how many grades a child scored in Secondary school.

Today the concern is more on what is the child able to do with his/her hands. We are now in for a society where students create jobs for themselves.

“This is because participation in the NSC provides students with valuable exposure to ideation, fostering creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and innovation,” Muteekanga says.

Uganda has over 5000 government and private secondary schools that all deserve to partake in the NSC contest. As a Ministry, we call upon school managers encourage their students to participate in this experiential skilling competition."

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