DFCC Bank’s ‘Samata English’ to benefit youth in Jaffna, Ampara, Rathnapura and Polonnaruwa

After two years of demonstrated success, DFCC Bank’s widely lauded CSR programme, Samata English, enters its third year in 2019. DFCC Bank recently signed an agreement with the Gateway Language Centre to conduct Samata English classes for the third consecutive year in the selected cities of Jaffna, Ampara, Rathnapura and Polonnaruwa. Conceptualized to enhance spoken English skills amongst students poised to enter the workforce, the programme aims to enhance employment opportunities and instill greater confidence amongst youth. Education is one of the key pillars in the Bank’s CSR strategy. Past students of Samata English have demonstrated high scores on English assessments at the end of the course, which has increased the demand for the programme amongst youth.

As the programme enters the third year, the CEO of DFCC Bank, Lakshman Silva says, “It gives us immense pride and joy to see that our CSR initiative is fulfilling a long-felt gap where youth from economically underprivileged communities entering the workforce lacked the required spoken English skills. This not only minimized their employment opportunities, but also caused them to perform poorly at job interviews. Thus, the course is designed to develop spoken English skills, boost the confidence of youth and improve their access to more opportunities on account of better spoken English skills. Education is a critical component of our CSR strategy as the Bank is committed to promoting a knowledge and values-based culture in the nation. I welcome all the new students selected for this year’s Samata English programme and would like to remind them that DFCC Bank offers internships to students who have scored highest marks on the course, so they should try very hard to gain the maximum benefits the programme offers.”

Samata English was held at DFCC’s Gampaha and Kalutara branches in 2017, witnessing the participation of approximately 45 youth, whereas the scope of the programme was extended to Galle, Kandy and Kurunegala in the next year for 96 students in 2018, between the ages of 18 and 25. The students sit for an initial assessment prior to starting the three-month course and a final assessment upon completion. The impact of the project has been more than evident in the past, as 70% students who sat for the final assessment after benefitting from the Spoken English course scored over 60 marks. In 2018, out of 96 students, a total of 87 students scored a First Class out of 96, which reflects how much the course has helped to improve their spoken English skills.

The final assessment is conducted by Gateway Language Centre and a CALSDA Certification is awarded to students who have completed the course. DFCC Bank absorbs students scoring the highest marks for an intensive internship at the DFCC Bank which opens the world of banking to them. Selected students from Jaffna, Ampara, Rathnapura and Polonnaruwa will be the lucky ones to avail of this unique opportunity at no cost in 2019.

In operation for over six decades, DFCC Bank remains dedicated to advancing financial inclusivity whilst supporting the growth and development of the nation. The bank continuously strives to create sustainable value for all stakeholders and provide its valued customers with a comprehensive range of innovative financial solutions.