PARENTS ASSOCIATION FOR UNIMA STUDENTS RAISE 17 MILLION KWACHA FOR NEEDY STUDENTS
26 May, 2018
17 MILLION KWACHA SCHOLARSHIP PACKAGE FOR PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES
As a way of supporting needy students in the public universities Parents Association for University of Malawi Students has joined forces with University of Malawi to assist in the fulfilment of one of the strategic pillars of the University which is increasing access to higher education.
To mark the official launch of the Association today Saturday 26th May 2018 at University of Malawi’s College of Medicine, Lilongwe Campus, the Association has presented eight scholarships to some of the needy students who were on the verge of dropping out of school on financial grounds.
The scholarship total package, from individuals who have chosen to remain anonymous, is wealth close to 17 million kwacha (approximately $22,500) which was followed by a presentation of a dummy cheque to the students as evidence that their future as far education is concerned was secure.
Eight students have each received the scholarship which according to the Association is enough for each student to complete their university education.
Four of the eight scholarships have been awarded to University of Malawi (Chancellor College, College of Medicine and Polytechnic) while the three have gone to Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources and one to Mzuzu University.
Professor Richard Tambulasi, who represented the Vice Chancellor of University of Malawi Professor John Kalenga Saka said the Association’s effort to raise funds for scholarships complements the University of Malawi’s one strategic pillar of increasing access to higher education.
Professor Tambulasi told the gathering that the Vice Chancellor’s office embarked on a resource mobilization campaign under the Vice Chancellor Fund through lobbying and partnerships with the industry to enable the University fulfil its objective of having more Malawians access higher education.
“The efforts by the Vice Chancellor have already started bearing fruits considering that some organizations such as banks, companies and individuals have already entered into partnerships with the University benefiting the students in the process,” he narrated.
The Professor advised parents to remain all time role models and counsellors saying some students do not drop out of school due to financial constraints only but also lack of parental care.
“It worries me a lot especially when you experience an increasing drop out of students from school due to lack of tuition or living expenses but more so when reasons are not financial but simply none availability of parents to provide appropriate counselling to their wards,” he said.
Professor Richard Tambulasi led the team of Dr. Mercy Pindani, Principal of Kamuzu College of Nursing and the University Internal Auditor Mr. Elywn Kuntengule to represent the office of the Vice Chancellor.
According to their Constitution, ‘Parents Association is a grouping of parents who have got children at the University of Malawi whose main aim is assisting the government to ensure that uninterrupted academic calendar and equality education in the University is achieved in order to have productive citizens and bring back good reputation of the University locally and internationally’.
Speaking during the launch of the Association, Guest of Honour who is also Director of Higher Education in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology McJesse Mbewe said the effort demonstrated by the Parents Association in raising funds for the students is a clear manifestation that the Association places a great significance on the tertiary education.
Mr Mbewe said the gesture sets the pace for all stakeholders to come in the tertiary education sector to pump in adequate resources.
“Every sector in the economy requires highly educated and skilled personnel. You can only be speaking about highly educated personnel by making an investment in tertiary education. I therefore ask all stakeholders to join government lessen the burden of developing quality tertiary education through the provision of resources,” he implored.
The Chairperson of the Association, Mr. Paul Chikwekwe explained that the Association was formed in 2017 after the closure of two constituent colleges of the University of Malawi, namely, Chancellor College and the Polytechnic after Council for the University raised the tuition fees for both generic and mature students.
Mr. Chikwekwe informed that the Council of the University duly recognizes the existence of the Association hence their indulgence in trying to make a significant contribution to increase students access to higher education.
To make the Association successful and its activities sustainable, Mr Chikwewkwe said they will work hand in hand will all well-meaning individuals as well organizations including University Management, University of Malawi Alumni Association, Council for the University, National Council of Higher Education, the Loans Board, Civil Society on education, among others.