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Joyce happy with ODEL's short courses

Joyce Phiri, aged 27 from Group Village Tondani in Salima village is among the youths who are from typical ultra-poor families who did not give up on their goal of attaining higher education. Thanks to the Strengthening Higher Education Access in Malawi Activity (SHEAMA) project by CRECCOM with funding from USAID for Open Distance E-Learning (ODEL) short courses, her dream came true.

Joyce moved to Salimafrom Mzimba to live with her brother who encouraged her to rewrite the MSCE exams after not faring well in 2017. It was after passing her exams that she heard of an advert at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) on ODEL short courses.

“The headteacher at Mbirira shared the advert with students at the school and those who graduated from the school so that they should apply and enhance their education and upon application, I was among the individuals who were selected, I was awarded a scholarship for my school fees and even upkeep allowance,” explained Joyce.

As one of the individuals who are not well versed in technological devices, Joyce said that she got to know how to use a smartphone to attend her classes from the lecturers.

Joyce said that the smartphone was also used for sending her weekly assignments to the lecturers and even to receive communications from the school concerning the academic calendar and even examination results.

Despite that she stays in the typical area where internet connection is a problem, Joyce said that she has learned a lot in terms of how to use that smartphone and even has saved a lot of money which could have been used for financing her education, transport, and even accommodation.

Joyce is studying a bridging course on basic sciences at LUANAR and has just finished her first semester of the course as it is for 6 months she started on 15 May 2022 and wrote her first examination in September 2022. She is now waiting to begin her second semester after the results will be out. Joyce wishes to become a teacher when she finishes her education at LUANAR.


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