Moni nonse (greetings everybody)! I would like to introduce you to my blog. This is my very first attempt at establishing a formal blog. I figured out I have a lot of stories about my life and my career that I would like to tell but I just do not have the right platform to do it. This blog therefore is meant to dig into my real personal experiences, which I hope you will be able to relate to. That said, here we go with my first blog!

I am one of the privileged few who have been able to study past their first degree at a very prestigious institution like Purdue University. I consider myself very fortunate to have had that opportunity. The one major difference that I noted between graduate school back home and here at Purdue is the emphasis that is placed on continuous assessment. At Purdue, much of the semester is spent doing homeworks and term papers. I hardly have time to simply sit down and read a book for the sake of reading. If there is no assignment due that week for a specific course, then there is some exam or quiz in that course. Coming from a background that placed much focus on mid-term and final exams, I had a really hard time adjusting to the American system.

It is a good system in that you are forced to learn the material immediately after it is given out in class by the professor, sometimes even before. The MS program in Agricultural Economics is quantitatively rigorous, you need a really good background in calculus and statistics. Despite all that, I am enjoying it. If I ever happened to work as a lecturer sometime in the future, I have learnt a lot of things that would help make my job very effective. This, though, does not mean that I despise the Malawian education system. Frankly, it is the best given the amount of resources that are invested in it. Were it that our educational system was poor, I would not have been successful at Purdue, let alone make it past the selection process.

That said, my view is that a lot can be done to our tertiary education system to make it highly competitive in this 21st century. It is a known fact that the University of Malawi thrives primarily on public money. What I have seen during my stay here is that alumni play a hugely significant role in financing the university. I can not enumerate how many buildings at Purdue that have been donated by former students of the university. Don’t we have University of Malawi alumni who can do the same? You do not have to be filthy rich to assist develop education at your old school which is almost collapsing due to lack of funding. The issue is all about patriotism. In Malawi, once people get their papers from the University, the majority do not care what happens after they are gone – how the plates and cups that they broke during their stay at the university will be replaced, in what state the 2009 economics student will find the 1985 edition of Alpha C. Chiang that they used in 1990, etc. It is that patriotic spirit that makes these other countries and their universities stand out, not the amount of wealth their people have. And speaking of wealth, how do we expect a nation to develop if the people that have all the money now are not willing to share with those that do not have but have the potential to make even more money in future? How many of the people that got the government college loans have paid back a Tambala? And yet we expect to develop education standards in our colleges? We all have to be responsible for the collapse of standards in our colleges.

Once again welcome to my new blog. Thank you for visiting, and please come back soon!