Wirima, Deputy Minister of Education
By Blessings Kaunda, MANA
Deputy Minister of Education, Madalitso Kambauwa Wirima on Friday presented K5000,000 research grants each to 50 post graduate students in public universities to support their research.
Speaking during the presentation at Mzuzu University, Open Distance Learning Campus, Wirima said research is important for the development of the country.
“You will be aware that for most of the things we have or see today to happen, including policies, some sort of research had to happen,” she said.
She added that lack of resources is limiting the Ministry to support recipients of grants. However, she promised that they will look into the matter critically and find a lasting solution.
“Four years down the line we have increased the research recipients to 50 people. If Malawi is to develop, there is need to have a vibrant research agenda which can always inform policy, practice and the development agenda itself.”
One of the beneficiaries from Mzuzu University doing Master’s Degree in Education Leadership and Management, Wezzie Banda said the research grant will motivate research students to work extra hard towards achieving their goals.
“This research grant will motivate us towards our research work so that at the end we should be able to produce quality results that can inform policies at national level,” she said.
Mzuzu University Vice-Chancellor, John Kalenga Saka said the university cannot afford to offer grants to all much as more Malawians seek post-graduate studies funding for research.
Research grants started in 2018 with only 17 post graduates and in 2021 the number has increased to 50 post graduate researchers.
Saka, therefore, said when the government through Ministry of Education, comes in to provide the grants, it means students will be able to undertake research which is a key component towards completion of their studies.
“We have 13 post graduates from Mzuni benefiting from research grants and we are looking forward to them completing their studies in earnest — not only completing it but doing it very well because they have resources to conduct their research.
“This also applies to sister public universities across the country,” Saka said, while requesting the government to increase number of post graduates grant recipients.
“There were over 250 applications and yet only 50 were supported across the country — which means that the demand is huge.
“One must appreciate that yearning to do higher degree programs, Masters and PhDs is a norm observable in a developing country, so we will need more investment in research particularly to support post graduate studies.”
Saka said it will be pleasing in the future if there would be a full scholarship for tuition research to be provided.
Earlier, Wirima donated personal protective equipment (PPE) to Mzuzu University that included buckets, hand washing soap, hand sanitizer, and face shields among others.