Aitken Spence PLC has launched Empowering Sri Lanka First, an English and IT teaching programme for children from its neighbouring communities as its flagship corporate community engagement initiative. The leading diversified conglomerate commenced the pilot phase of the English programme benefiting 180 students in Dambulla, Ahungalla and Mawaramandiya in May.
The eight-year old students follow a globally recognised British Council syllabus combined with accompanying teaching material delivered by local teachers who have completed British Council conducted teacher training.
Aitken Spence was recognized as Sri Lanka’s Best Corporate Citizen for 2012 by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
“With a leading presence in some of Sri Lanka’s key sectors, Aitken Spence has over the years engaged in numerous programmes to enrich the lives of our neighbouring communities across the island. Empowering Sri Lanka First is intended to add more focus to our community engagements by concentrating on two key enablers for young students to achieve their true potential, thereby contributing to the sustainable development of the communities in which we operate”, said J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman & Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.
“Our plan is to expand the programme to dozens of local communities within a few years with the support of our many international and local partners who enjoy longstanding relationships with Aitken Spence”, he added.
The Company’s unique model enrols students for a three-year programme to learn the English language and information technology during weekly classes conducted at each locality. Aitken Spence plans to launch the IT module in September this year at all three locations.
“The curriculum followed is one that will complement the national syllabus and meant to make the process of learning more fun and interactive so that the students will be encouraged to keep learning by themselves even after they graduate from the programme”, said Rohan Pandithakorralage, Director and Chief Human Resources Officer of Aitken Spence Group Ltd.
Teachers for the programme are recruited from the same communities and trained on the curriculum so that they can use and benefit from the new teaching methods in their own careers and create more value for the learning process of more students in these communities.
Aitken Spence is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Pacific. In Sri Lanka, it is an industry leader in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistics, power generation and printing, with a significant presence in plantations, financial services, insurance, information technology and apparel.