One of the innovative academic programmes being administered at Malawi University of Science & Technology (MUST) — though Bingu School and Culture — is the Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in African Musicology, which is currently in four cohorts.
The handover — of state-of-art keyboards; violins and Korean-styled flutes on Wednesday, October 5 — was graced by IYF’s African representative, Jae Yun Shim, the Malawi representative and several of the Fellowship’s members at MUST Campus at Goliati, Thyolo.
Jae Yun Shim said it pleased them to assist MUST taking cognizance that they are administering the prestigious Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in African Musicology, adding that Koreans highly regard academic music as important in empowering youths in entrepreneurship skills.
Speaking on behalf of the Bingu School and Culture (BISCH), Dr. Atikonda Mtenje-Mkochi described the donation as timely donation, saying BISCH offers the Bachelor of Arts degree in African Musicology.
Mkochi, who is department head of language & communication studies — and senior lecturer in language and communication — highlighted the music programme’s success that they are proud that they moved seamlessly from inception four years ago and are ready to graduate the inaugural cohort next year.
“They learn to play the music equipment from scratch and we are proud that the current final cohort performed the orchestra for the first time during our recent graduation.
“They are also booked perform at various high-profile functions and the demand is positive because of their excellent performance in orchestra.”
On challenges, she singled out that CoVID-19 played a huge set back as their lessons is mostly practical and that while they had to innovate into online teaching and learning, they still had to administer physical practicals but in clusters.
She said MUST invested a lot in equipment but still there were challenges since the students have to access some of them for their own use outside lecture rooms to practice and perfect their art — thus they appreciate the support from IYF.
She added that they are working towards providing state-of-art studios and lecture theatres just for the academic music programme.
Representing MUST Vice-Chancellor, Dr Davies Mweta — director of the Malawi Institute of Technology (MIT), one of the schools under MUST — also profoundly thanked IYF for the gesture, saying the university is shaping the future of Malawian youths by offering various academic programmes, with music being one of them.
“This is in line with MW2063 agenda as well as the African Union’s Vision 2063 under the pillar of skills development,” he said. “We are under-resourced and we greatly value support of this nature from our development partners such as IYF in order for us to develop right skills.
“With right skills, our graduates will return to the society fully equipped to enhance any entrepreneurial ventures they would consider to do,” he said.
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