General News of Sat, 16 Sep 201721

Stanbic clears air on Free SHS

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Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited has denied a story making the rounds on social media that the ‘school uniform’ that some staff of the bank wore yesterday was an effort to laud the government’s newly introduced ‘Free Senior High School (SHS) policy.

According to the bank, the adoption of the ‘school uniform’ initiative was part of a blitz day celebrations organized to create awareness among its customers about the bank’s educational plan policy.

Staff of the bank across the country were seen in various school uniforms to commemorate the day, and according to DAILY GUIDE sources, the decision to wear the ‘school uniform’ this year was communicated to the workers about two weeks ago – even before the ‘Free SHS’ was launched by President Akufo-Addo.

Sources said every year the bank decides that the staff should wear a particular type of dress.

The bank’s Educational Plan Policy is one of Stanbic’s Bank Assurance products.

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A customer of the bank secretly took snapshots of some staff in Takoradi wearing the yellow and brown junior high school uniform yesterday.

The customer allegedly posted the pictures on social media with the inscription, “Stanbic Bank in solidarity with the Free SHS Programme. Now I want to also bank with you.”

The pictures portrayed the staff going about their routine duties and attending to customers in their “school uniforms” rather than the usual banking attire.

However, in an interview with DAILY GUIDE, the Takoradi Branch Manager of the bank, Richard Tetteh Doku, explained that yesterday’s move was not the first time the staff had dressed in school uniform as part of a blitz day celebrations.

According to him, in July, this year, the bank organized a similar event during which the staff put on various school uniforms to create awareness about the bank’s educational plan policy.

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“We dress like this to arouse the curiosity of our customers, and once they see us in the uniform they try to enquire why we have dressed in school uniforms. We will then take the opportunity to explain the policy for them to understand it better,” he explained.

Mr Doku underscored, “The staff of most of our branches in Accra and other parts of the country also put on different kinds of uniforms to mark the day. So it had nothing to do with politics or the government’s ‘Free SHS’ policy.”

He indicated that one customer secretly took shots of the staff in the banking hall without their consent and purportedly posted them on social media and created the impression that the bank’s staff were in solidarity with the government’s policy.

“When my attention was drawn to the pictures on Facebook and on other social media, I went to play the bank’s Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) camera and saw the one who took the pictures.

“We have seen the person who did it. I have given his details to the security office in our head office in Accra for possible arrest,” he added. The flagship programme of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government – the ‘Free SHS’ – began this week with the first year students.

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The programme has been lauded by many, particularly parents and guardians, who have indicated that the initiative would help take the financial burden off their shoulders.

The programme was officially launched by President Akufo-Addo at the West African Senior High School (WASS) on Tuesday, September 12.

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