President Arthur Peter Mutharika has called on graduates to “think big, dream big and act decisively”. The President who is also the Chancellor of the University of Malawi Unima made the remarks as he presided over the third 2019 Unima graduation at Chancellor College in Zomba on Friday, where 225 have graduated with certificates, diplomas, first and Masters degrees.
The Malawi leader, also called on the graduates to remember that much of their education was paid by tax payers, therefore they must rise to the task of national building.
“The greater cost of your education was paid for by the farmers, street vendors, shop owners, police officers, primary school teachers and many more Malawians who pay their taxes for us to fund the University. You owe them your future.
“In the spirit of patriotism, we all have a greater responsibility to serve our country. It is not the time to ask what my country shall do for me. It is the time to ask what I shall do for my country. In the spirit of integrity, let us go and do to others the best that we wish was done to us. In the spirit of hardwork and self-sacrifice, let us dedicate ourselves to serve our country more than serve our personal interests.
“I urge you to go forward with more decisive determination. Dream big! Think big! And act decisively! In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams,” he said.
President Mutharika also reiterated the crucial developmental aspect the University has played in the country’s educational history. At this point the Malawi leader emphasized the need for the University to support government in its development agenda and spoke against any form of political partisanship in universities.
“We have had our weaker moments. Sometimes, we have lost our mission and believed that the job of the University is to fight the Government. The job of the University is to support Government to solve problems of the country,” he said.
On this, President Mutharika commended the University of Malawi for refusing to be used as political pawns during this year’s tripartite election.
In his remarks, Chairperson of Council of the University of Malawi, Reverend Dr. Billy Gama commended the country’s leadership for prioritizing education by ensuring equitable access to secondary education, and affording all Malawians desirable opportunity to study. He further noted the construction of technical colleges which he said would in the long run see Malawi move from a consuming nation to a producing one.
Taking his turn, Unima Pro-vice chancellor, Alfred Mtenje said he was pleased with the positive strides the university has made since it opened its doors. He through the years, the University has aligned itself to the global trends in as far researches were concerned.
Out of the 225 students, 121 were males, 112 are female, from the seven Constituent Colleges of Unima.