President Lazarus Chakwera says the value of any nation’s education system must reflect in how graduates serve their respective societies with moral responsibility after their academic tenure.
The President was speaking in Blantyre on Saturday during the first congregation of University of Blantyre Synod University (UBS) where eighteen Masters of Theology students were awarded their academic credentials.
UBS was established in 2016 and currently offers programs in Theology and Commerce. Currently it has 98 continuing students.
“Academic achievement, intellectual development, and professional skills are not enough to build the New Malawi we want. It is time for all college education in this country to place a high premium on inculcating integrity, discipline, and hard work in those who pass through their halls of learning,” said President Chakwera.
Among the many instances of education must be coupled with patriotism, the President said there is no value in an education that produces civil engineers who cut corners in construction and build things of poor quality in order to make more money, lecturers who use their positions more as a weapon for intimidation than a tool of inspiration, lawyers who use the quest for justice by injured citizens as a licence to milk them of every penny or doctors who siphon medical supplies from a public hospital where they are meant for the poor in order to stock their own private practice and pharmacies where they benefit the rich.
The President applauded the Blantyre Synod for their continued efforts in delivering quality education across all stages of the education structure.
He noted that the Christian Church has done more to advance the cause of education than any other force in the world, citing examples of universities such as Harvard and Yale in the United States that were founded by Christian puritans.
“The founding of the University of Blantyre Synod is a product of that tradition, and it is right for us to celebrate it.”
President Chakwera also expressed gratitude on the role the church is playing to offer inclusive education thereby empowering the marginalized populations.
“There was a time in this world when nations only educated the rich and powerful, and even in places where the commoners and the poor were given access to formal education, it was given to citizens, not foreigners, and to boys, not girls. You can look at the ancient histories of all the continents and you will find this to be true.”
He noted that such efforts by churches in supporting government through education institutions aligns with the country’s long term development aspirations.
“I want to assure you that this initiative aligns perfectly with our aspirations as a nation as captured in Malawi 2063 Vision, where we envision human capital development through education as foundational to the transformation of Malawi into an inclusively wealthy, self-reliant, industrialized, middle-income economy. The industries we need to build in this country will be built by skilled men and women, and those skills will largely be acquired at tertiary institutions like this one,” said the President.
He promised that government will support the university’s operations through regulation and facilities.