|Picture shows Mrs Pamela Cooray Director HNB handing over the books to Mr Lanerolle, Principal Nadagamuwa Central College, Ekala, Kotugoda|
Hatton National Bank, the Premier private sector commercial bank in the country takes pride in continuing to enhance its community development projects.
Recently on 9 September 2010 the Bank donated books and computers worth over Rs 7.5 million to 159 under privileged schools in the country.
Most of the rural schools lack even the basic facilities. There is, for example, a scarcity of teachers, resulting in poorly developed students. Libraries with a good collection of wide-ranging books will promote self-study and enhance the minds of our children. Wishing to be part of a project that would provide resources that would touch people's lives and inspire their imagination, learning and creativity and taking a long term view to aid high literacy HNB launched the "Nena Pubuduwa" school library scheme in 2005.
The Nena Pubuduwa programme aims to provide opportunities to under privileged children in rural schools to enhance knowledge and derive the simple pleasure of exploring the world through books with a special emphasis on stimulating a love of reading and learning in children. It works to promote international and inter-cultural understanding and awareness, improve and expand knowledge of English and ICT thus creating opportunities for higher education and employment.
HNB believes in the sustainability of these projects and thus continues to support and facilitate the teaching and learning activities of the School, by adding to the collection of books each year and equipping the libraries with computers.
To date 159 libraries have been set up and maintained by the Bank in under privileged schools.
Since 2005, HNB has enabled high literacy among Sri Lankan students by establishing libraries in schools, particularly those in disadvantaged, rural areas. The initial objective was to create 100 libraries, but this goal was surpassed, with 155 libraries established to date.
The project scope was then broadened to include computer literacy, and the Bank donated computers to selected schools. In addition, buildings were renovated, books donated and furniture, equipment and fittings provided. Through needs-analysis, the Bank continues to add to the Nana Pubuduwa project and enhance the educational evolution of Sri Lanka's children.
Higher literacy rates, greater English literacy and an IT enabled environment are just a few of the long-term benefits we foresee as a result of the Nana Pubuduwa project, which received a Merit Award at the Best Corporate Citizens Awards 2008, organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
Partnering with the OLPC Lanka Foundation's ''One Laptop Per Child'' programme, the Bank sponsored 100 specially designed laptops to children at a deserving school in Weihena, Galle. With localised software and teaching modules that run in Sinhala and Tamil languages, the specially designed computers will supplement the current syllabi at school level.
HNB sees great importance in cultivating the talents and abilities of our nation's children. In partnership with the Ministry of Education, the Bank arranges island-wide competitions in extra curricular aesthetics for school-children.
Demonstrations of talent in art, speech, essay-writing, short story writing, singing and drama, presented in all three languages, are grouped by age and district and conclude in national finals. Winners are selected at district and national level by an independent panel of judges from the Ministry of Education and awarded certificates and cash prizes. An important incentive is that each national winner from the A/L classes receives 10 points towards his or her university entrance Z score. As a further enticement, the best entries in the art competition have their work displayed on the Bank's annual greeting cards.
Anticipating a greater demand for trained financial services sector professionals in the North and East, the Bank established a three-month academic programme entitled ''Certificate in Elementary Banking and Finance'', launched at the HNB customer centre in Chunnakam.
Resource persons from the Bank and several senior lecturers from the University of Jaffna form the programme's faculty. The course is provided free for selected candidates and consists of four subjects - Business of Banking, Accounting, Economics and Management and Organisation. The programme is the first in the peninsula to use the internet with video conferencing as a support medium in youth education.