HEPSSA workshop addresses gaps in Engineering
The event aimed at sharing lessons with key stakeholders on the performance of the Higher Education Partnerships in Sub-Sahara Africa (HEPSSA) project which was being implemented by The Polytechnic.
The workshop which was held under the theme, “Addressing Engineering Skills Shortage in Malawi through University-Industry collaboration,” brought a lot of key stakeholders in Engineering field.
During the event, the delegates shined a spotlight on wide range of topics that would help to address the challenges engineering field is facing.
Some of topics that were tackled are; roles of Industries in addressing Engineering Skills gap in Malawi, role of Universities in addressing gaps that exist in Malawi and Sub-Sahara region as a whole.
In addition, the event also looked at gender and other social biases in Engineering Profession.
The event was spiced up by a number of testimonies from HEPSSA project beneficiaries.
Speaking during the workshop a representative from Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Dr Valentino Zimpita, started his presentation by explaining the vision and mission of the education sector in Malawi.
Zimpita further outlined three thematic areas on how education sector in the country fulfil its mission.
Among others, government has expanded equitable access to education to everyone despite availability of bed spaces in the Universities.
He further said, government is making sure that the education system in Malawi has improved its quality, governance and management, to the extent that they are relevant to the needs of the industry.
“The Universities must make sure that they involve industry in their curriculum review so that the quality of Education is improved in the country,” he said.
He appreciated and thanked the HEPSSA coordinators for establishing an initiative that will improve the quality of education in the country.
He further added that they will take a hand to support research projects that will address local problems in particular.
One of the beneficiaries of the project, Dr Esther Phiri who is also a deputy Head of Electrical Engineering at The Polytechnic hailed the project as it has helped her to have a hands on experience.
“At first I had knowledge of theories, hence I found difficulties to deliver a lecture to the students that needed me to demonstrate practically. Through this project am able to deliver it practically,” Phiri reminisced.
Phiri further said the project has also helped her on how to conduct interviews and manage time effectively.
According to the project Team Leader, Dr Suzgo Kaunda, plans are in place to re-apply for another sponsorship. However, if their request fails, they may seek intervention from the institution to take over in implementing the project.
The event had over 54 delegates, from Uganda Martyrs University came Achilles Ahimbisibwe, from Addis Ababa University—Ethiopia, Associate Professor Kassahun Kebede while from the University of Malawi, Dr Richard Tambulasi, The Polytechnic Vice Principal, Dr Nancy Chitera and other members of staff.
In addition, representatives from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar), MUST, and others from the corporate world were also in attendance.