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Poly students win COVID 19 Challenge

News   Hazviperi Mbizi   August 13, 2020
PIC: Maskini and Dzonzi
Two final year students at The Polytechnic are among the 10 UNICEF COVID 19 Youth Challenge winners in Malawi.

The duo, Sam Masikini (Bachelor of Science in Information Technology) and Brenald Dzonzi (Bachelor of Electrical and Electronics Engineering), were presented with tasks which portrayed challenges the youth are facing due to the Corona Virus disease (COVID 19) pandemic. 

“The competition was open to all youth in Malawi, but I am happy that me and my partner have managed to be among the ten winners with our projects; Stalled learning and Sanitation/ hygiene,” Maskini explained.

UNICEF which partnered with other organisations, using a method called Design Thinking; made a call to the youth of Malawi to come up with ideas of projects which could be used to solve problems based on the situation presented.

“We are currently being trained by the hubs and the experts from partnering organisations  in the competition to come up with a finished product or service which could be utilized.” Masikini added.

Masikini’s project, Stalled learning, focused on an application called Inspire which can used to simplify how E-learning can be implemented in  rural areas where internet access and the accessibility of resources like smartphones, computers and data bundles is a big challenge.

On the other hand Dzonzi’s project Sanitation and Hygiene focusses on a hand sensitization unit that is meant to help increase touch free disinfection practices in high volume public areas and hospitals.

“It is exciting to see that the efforts we have made during the COVID 19 period have been recognized by UNICEF to be part of the solutions that can help Malawi,” Dzonzi said.

Their plan and goal is to see that the projects have been adopted in the education, medical and public settings in order to increase hand hygiene compliance and the adoption of affordable E-learning in the country.

The duo acknowledges The Polytechnic Design Studio Managers Hillary Lodzanyama and Will Moyo for assisting in fostering the development of the solutions together with The Polytechnic COVID 19 task force for helping in perfecting the ideas.

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The Malawi Polytechnic together with the USAID FHI 360 On Thursday, February 13 2020 hosted the first of the series of Public Lectures in the ICT/ODL auditorium.