President Lazarus Chakwera has challenged universities to offer responsive education which addresses challenges of the country.
He was speaking at Chancellor College in Zomba where he presided over a graduation ceremony of the University of Malawi (Unima).
Chakwera said the graduation was a culmination of sacrifices from various stakeholders including the country’s taxpayers and that graduands must reflect on the standard of education they received and the sacrifices made towards their education.
“If countries without many natural resources like Israel, South Korea, Japan and Singapore, have become the envy of the world through education, so can we.
“If they were able to quickly recognise that what they lacked in natural resources could easily be compensated for by good ideas and intellectual capital, so can we,” Chakwera said.
The President said the normal of the Covid and post-Covid times call for greater innovation and that this requires investment in the things that affect the country’s education standards.
On the delinking of Unima, Chakwera challenged those in authority to strive for excellence by offering relevant qualifications to students.
“We should not get carried away by the euphoria this causes, because making the three new universities operate at the highest standards of education will take sacrifice from all stakeholders.
“It is one thing to desire being a university of your own, but it is quite another to be a university whose degrees are worth more than the paper they are printed on,” he said.
Unima acting Vice- Chancellor Professor Al Mtenje said the university welcomed the challenge and that they are reviewing and realigning their curriculums to the Malawi 2063.
In total, 1,852 students received their certificates, diplomas and degrees at the ceremony which was held virtually.
Only 73 of the 1,852 were physically in the Great Hall as a symbol of the graduation at large and these were postgraduates and undergraduates who scooped distinctions and first-class degrees.
Two of the graduands received their papers posthumously.