UNIMA in tablet donation drive
The University of Malawi is one of the universities that offer quality education, in part due to the institution’s adoption of modern teaching technologies. As one way of improving the quality and access to education in Malawi, the University of Malawi secured 100 tablets, worth MK30,000,000, with the assistance of the Astria Online Learning University, to boost the education sector in Malawi. Out of this number, on May 8th, 2023, UNIMA donated 40 tablets to four secondary schools in the Southern Region of Malawi. The schools include Providence Girls Secondary School, Chikwawa Secondary School, Njamba Secondary School and Malindi Secondary School. The UNIMA delegation was led by Dr. Mufunanji Magalasi, Executive Dean of the School of Arts, Communications and Design. He was accompanied by Mrs Towera Mwathunga, Assistant Registrar (Academics) and other staff members.
During the handover ceremonies at all secondary schools, Dr. Magalasi highlighted the point that the University of Malawi Management is interested in improving the quality of education for its students as well as secondary school students in the country. However, they thought it wise to prioritize secondary schools that were affected by Cyclone Freddy, which affected several districts in the southern region. In addition to this, the University Management selected secondary schools that offer Computer Studies, in order to motivate students to further advance their computer literacy at the tertiary level after they have finished their secondary education.
Each of the selected schools received 10 of the AstriaTab gadgets. Each of the tablets is ideal for the level of work required by secondary school students, being equipped with 1GB RAM and 16GB storage capacity. The tablets have long battery life, are lightweight and have pre-installed educational applications that students can use. The faces of the students and their headmasters were beaming with excitement upon receiving these tablets, as it was their first time ever receiving such a prestigious donation from a University.
Headmasters from all the secondary schools expressed their gratitude to the University of Malawi for choosing their schools, out of many in the Southern Region, to be among the beneficiaries. In their remarks, they explained that the donation of tablets will assist their students in having easy access to computer studies as one way of equipping them with the computer skills required at the University for every student.
The University of Malawi is aware of global technological advancements and their benefits to the education sector. As such, in an effort to improve access to quality education, it will continue to assist in ensuring that UNIMA and secondary school students have access to technological gadgets. The university thus also plans to provide tablets to financially disadvantaged UNIMA students.
Recently, the University of Malawi’s School of Education held an Education Technology event that emphasized the benefits of technology in the education sector and how useful it is during times of adversity in the country.