Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS) and the Strengthening Higher Education Access in Malawi Project (SHEAMA) which is funded by USAID and implemented by Arizona State University have graduated 155 students with a Certificate in Electrical Installation.
Out of the 155 Open Distance and e-Learning graduates, a total of 127 were fully sponsored by United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Speaking during the graduation ceremony, USAID Malawi Education Office Director, Christine Veverka, commended the Government of Malawi in its quest to increase access to quality education and expand essential and marketable skills for youth to live healthier and happier lives.
Veverka gave an inspirational talk
“I would like to commend the Government of Malawi through the Ministry of Education, through the SHEAMA Project we are increasing access to higher education for more Malawians. Through this project we are also specifically promoting studies in areas that will help generate wealth for the country,” said Veverka.
Director of ODe-L in the Ministry of Education, Associate Professor Joshua Valeta, said the Ministry of Education is developing policies and strategies including the ODe-L one which seek to consolidate and advance ODe-L studies.
“We have reinforced resources in the national budget so that universities are supported to develop and offer more programmes to advance ODe-L, so we are not just talking but we are delivering on the ground and when we see fruits of this work like what we have seen today we get encouraged,” said Associate Professor Valeta.
On his part, Associate Professor Mphatso Kamndaya, Dean of the School of Science and Technology at MUBAS, said the Certificate in Domestic and Industrial Electrical Installation Course is crucial in filling the gap of well-trained artisans in the country.
Verveka (R) with Associate Professors
“One of the pillars in Malawi 2063 is human capital development. We do not just concentrate on one cadre of professionals like those with degrees going upwards but we need a complete range of graduates starting with those with technical skills and certificates. These will fill the space where we need technical skills,” said Associate Professor Kamndaya.
One of the graduates, Lydia Khumba said partnerships are key to success in her chosen field.
Some of the graduating students
She said: “I plan to collaborate with my colleagues to take the entrepreneurial path. We believe together we can win contracts and do the job perfectly.”
SHEAMA is implemented by Arizona State University with funding from USAID. Its main goal is to increase the number of skilled and employable workforce in Malawi by partnering with the Malawi Government and the five public universities to increase access to higher education through the provision of quality ODe-L programmes at certificate, diploma and degree levels.
The five universities are MUBAS, University of Malawi, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mzuzu University and Malawi University of Science and Technology.