The United States Aid for International Development (USAid) has released $10 million to enhance the provision of Open and Distance E-learning (ODL) and improve the quality of learning management systems and learning platforms during the Covid-19 response period.
The funds have been provided through Strengthening Higher Education Access in Malawi Activity (Sheama), a project USAid is implementing in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
USAid Education Officer Director, Christine Veverka, said last week that Sheama aims at promoting partnerships between state universities in the US and institutions of higher learning in Malawi.
“We are interested to increase access to tertiary education for as many Malawians as possible through promotion of partnerships between US universities and Malawi’s institutions of higher learning,” Veverka said.
She said it is against this background that USAid is bringing together academics and stakeholders in the higher education community to emphasise the importance of Open and Distance E-learning (ODL).
“That is important particularly now during the Covid-19 response when digital connections and access to quality online and quality instruction is provided virtually, which is the song for the safety of students and faculty at this moment. And also being able to increase access to tertiary education for as many Malawians as possible,” Veverka said.
“So, we are very interested in enhancing the provision of ODL education, making sure that that education is delivered in a quality manner through learning management systems and accessible learning platforms for as many Malawians as possible,” she added.
Ministry of Education Director of Higher Education, Samson MacJessie Mbewe, praised USAid for the activity, saying the partnership between US and local colleges will go a long way in ensuring that more Malawians have access to higher education.