Usaid K7.4bn investment in Malawi E-learning to make higher education more accessible

Government has expressed excitement with the US$10 million (approximately K7.4 billion) grant the United States Aid for International Development (USAID) has invested towards enhancement of Open and Distance E-learning (ODL).

Veverka: We are interested to increase access to tertiary education for as many Malawians as possible through promotion of partnerships between the US universities and Malawi’s institutions of higher learning

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.

The package will also see the Malawi Government improving the quality of learning management systems and learning platforms during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) response period.

The Ministry of Education Director of Higher Education, Samson MacJessie Mbewe, told Nyasa Times in Lilongwe on Tuesday that the support will go a long way in increasing access to tertiary education among Malawians.

Mbewe assured USAID that government will use the resources for the intended purposes.

“The Malawi Government is very grateful to USAID for the continued support it renders to the education sector,” he said.

The United States Aid for International Develpoment (Usaid) has released US$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 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) response period.

In her remarks, the USAID Education Officer Director, Christine Veverka said Sheama aims at promoting partnerships between State universities in the US and  institutions of higher learning in Malawi.

“We are working with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. We are interested to increase access to tertiary education for as many Malawians as possible through promotion of partnerships between the US universities and Malawi’s institutions of higher learning,” said Veverka.

She said it is against this background that Usaid is bringing together academics and stakeholders in the higher education community to emphasize the importance of Open and Distance E-learning (ODL).

“And that is critically 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,” she said.

“So, we are very interested in enhancing the provision of ODL education, making sure that that education is delivered in a quality matter through learning management systems and accessible learning platforms for as many Malawians as possible,” added Veverka.

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Imran
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Imran

Online learning requires a lot. Dedication and holding yourself accountable and be willing to learn. Apart from that there is need for a good internet access, computers or a smart phone which the majority of the Malawians don’t have access to.Our internet services providers charges are to much for the ordinary Malawians.Malawi is even on of the countries that pays a lot when it comes to mobile packages, for this project to be successful the government should do something about the high cost of data otherwise the grant will end up into some else’s pockets.

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