The Malawi Polytechnic, a constituent college of the University of Malawi (Unima), has embarked on an ambitious project that will see the college having a four-storey building replacing the old structures at the Poly Annexe in Blantyre.
Project coordinator Ignancio Ngoma said in an interview yesterday the African Development Bank (AfDB)-funded project, which started in 2013 with scholarships for students, PhD training programmes for academic staff and procurement of learning materials, including stocking of the library, will soon take a new direction of infrastructure development project.
He said: “This project will comprise two buildings for workshops, laboratories and classroom at the main campus. While at the annexe, the new building will house information and communications technology [ICT] hub, an open and distance learning [ODL] section and a fully fledged business centre.
“The structure which has been designed has four storeys. Construction will take 52 weeks and we hope that at the completion of these projects, we will have added space in line with Unima’s strategic plan to double its intake in five years.”
Currently, Unima—with four constituent colleges of the Polytechnic, Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN), College of Medicine (CoM) and Chancellor College (Chanco)—has an annual intake of 5 000 students, according to spokesperson for the university Peter Mitunda.
The projects, with a combined cost of about $7 million, is under the Higher Education for Science and Technology where the Government of Malawi has put in 20 percent of the total cost to enhance the teaching of science and technology in tertiary education.
Meanwhile, Mitunda said students who had been using the Polytechnic Annexe buildings for classes will be relocated to the main campus and the Chichiri wing.
He said: “Our hope is that these expansions, which are taking place in all Unima campuses, will go a long way to increase classroom space and expand enrolment at the same time.”
The annexe wing at the Polytechnic is the first campus of the college and was built in the 1960s before the construction of the current main campus on the opposite side across the Masauko Chipembere Highway