The University of Malawi, as one of the top universities in Malawi plays a significant role in the country's education sector not only by graduating candidates but also by spearheading the introduction of innovations to address challenges in the education sector. One of the notable initiatives is the Education Technology (EdTech) annual conference, which brings together different experts and organizations to collaborate and share knowledge on the use of modern technology to improve and offer solutions for education in Malawi.

This year’s conference took place on the 16th and 17th of May, 2024 under the theme: "Scaling Impacts of EdTech Innovations in Malawi: Adaptation, Feasibility, and Sustainability." At the launch of the event, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of UNIMA, Dr. Sunduzwayo Madise, highlighted the need to reflect on both the positive and negative impacts of technology in education. 

Dr. Anthony Chigeda, the Executive Director of Imagine Worldwide, delivered the keynote speech at the event. Also present were representatives from various public and private institutions, including higher learning institutions.

The conference also featured a workshop on Open Distance e-Learning (ODeL) aimed at developing ODeL curriculum and materials, as well as ways of supporting ODeL learners. Participants included academics from UNIMA, LUANAR, KUHES, and UNILIA. 

Commenting on the event, Dr. Foster Gondwe, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at UNIMA said, “The possible impact of the event is long-term. We envision that this annual event will be a platform for developing innovations that can solve some of the pressing education challenges in Malawi.”

There were many exhibitions featured during the two-day event. One of those was an innovation from Justice Gawani, a fourth-year computer science student at UNIMA who has developed EduShare, a web-based platform designed to provide equitable access to study materials for students across Malawi. Commenting on his innovation, Gawani pointed out the potential that it holds.

“Edushare aims to bridge educational disparities by offering a centralized repository of examination resources, books, and other learning materials, fostering collaborative learning and enhancing academic performance,” he said. 

He further added that the platform is bound to have a positive impact on education as it includes fairness, improving exam preparation and empowering educators with data-driven insights.

The role that UNIMA plays in education technology cannot be overemphasized. The university continues to research the relationship between technology and education, as well as teach courses in education technology, which significantly improves the standards of education in Malawi. Under the School of Education, UNIMA offers two Master's programs in educational technology: Master of Education in Instructional Technology (offered in partnership with Astria Learning) and a Master of Science in Educational Technologies (offered in partnership with the University of Mauritius). The University also has a module in educational technology offered to undergraduate students pursuing education programmes.