The Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) has introduced post graduate and under graduate programmes in gender studies following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the tertiary institution and the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social welfare.
The introduction of the programmes will see a total of 90 students undergoing Diploma in Gender Development, Bachelor of Science degree in Gender and Development and Master of Science degree in Gender and development getting scholarships from the Gender Equality and women empowerment (GEWE) project which is being implemented by the Ministry of Gender and is supported by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The MOU was signed by Luanar Vice Chancellor Professor George Kanyama-Phiri and Principal Secretary for Gender Mary Shaba two weeks ago.
GEWE Project Coordinator Innocent Hauya told a GEWE review meeting in Lilongwe yesterday that apart from awarding the scholarships to the students, they are also supporting Luanar in developing an institutional gender policy.
“The introduction of the gender studies will help strengthen the capacity of national gender machinery through training of both private and public officials in gender and development because in the past, many of the gender practitioners were doing their job out of experience but now they will be trained at a higher level,” said Hauya.
He also said the GEWE project helped Luanar in developing course modules for the diploma programme.
Hauya also said GEWE will offer scholarships to 30 diploma students, 50 degree students and 10 masters degree throughout the duration of their studies.
Luanar Deputy Dean in the faculty of Food and Human Sciences Andrew Joabe told a GEWE review meeting in Lilongwe yesterday that selection of Diploma and Degree students has already been done and that they will soon advertise for the Masters programme for the January 2015 intake.
“The courses will be delivered either in block release, modular system, full time or off Campus” said Joabe.
He called on organizations for potential collaboration with Luanar’s already existing programmes like Human Nutrition and food science, Dietetics, Food science technology and Human sciences and community services.
“We still appeal for collaboration in the yet to be developed programmes like degree in youth development, masters degree in Child Welfare and a PhD in human nutrition and food science,” said Joabe.
Joabe said the institutionalization of the gender policy at the university will be a model approach for other tertiary institutions in the country.
Agata Nieboj, Programmer Manager for the EU delegation said the EU is committed in strengthening the gender sector in Malawi hence the support of the development of gender studies at Luanar.
“We hope this will help in ensuring that the national gender machinery is reinforced. We believe that this can help to promoting gender equality in Malawi and that many gender practitioners will now be well trained in their areas of expertise,” said Nieboj.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :