About Us

UNIMA Family Literacy Project

The University of Malawi is the oldest institution of highest learning in Malawi, established in 1964 soon after independence. It was established by an act of parliament and accredited by the National Council of Higher Education (NCHE). The University has four constituent colleges: The Polytechnic, College of Medicine, Kamuzu College of Nursing and Chancellor College. The School of Education and Centre for Language Studies are located at Chancellor College. The mandate of the former is to offer pre-service teacher training programmes, postgraduate programmes in education and conduct educational research. The mandate of the Centre for Language Studies is to develop and promote local languages through research and language and literacy teaching.


University of Malawi-Chancellor College

P.O. Box 280




School of Education and the Centre of Language Studies


  • Symon Chiziwa
    Symon Chiziwa: UNESCO chair coordinator
    Symon Chiziwa is a Senior Lecturer in Educational and Adolescent Psychology and currently UNESCO chair coordinator in the School of Education, University of Malawi. He holds a PhD in Teacher Education (University of Malawi, 2015), Master of Arts in Education in Curriculum and Instruction (Virginia Polytechnic and State University, USA, 2004), Bachelor of Education (Honours) in Educational Psychology (University of Malawi, 2001), Bachelor of Education (Humanities) (Unima, 1990) majoring in History and Geography. He has served the University of Malawi in the following capacities: Head of Audio Visual Centre, Head of Education Foundations Department, Dean of the School of Education, Senator of the University of Malawi, Member of the Finance Committee of Council of the University of Malawi, Chairperson of the University Committee for Teaching and Learning and chairperson of Chancellor College HIV and AIDS Coordination Committee. He has supervised over 30 masters and doctoral students. Prior to his engagement with University of Malawi, he worked in the Ministry of Education as an educational planner, teacher trainer and secondary school teacher. He is an expert in Curriculum Development, Andragogy, Youth and development, pedagogical and assessment practices, teacher education, outcomes based education, inclusive education. He has extensive national and international experience in consulting and research in the following areas; development of national education curriculum frameworks, development life skills and out-of-school youth education and school leadership. In the family literacy project, he is one the principal researchers.
  • Dr Ahmmardouh Mjaya
    Dr Ahmmardouh Mjaya
    Ahmmardouh Mjaya is a lecturer in linguistics in the Department of African languages and linguistics and a Ciyawo language specialist at the Centre for Language Studies at Chancellor College in the University of Malawi. He holds a PhD in research related to adult education (his thesis is entitled Figured Worlds: An Ethnographic Study of Literacy Practices in a Village Community in Malawi) and a masters in adult literacy and lifelong learning obtained from the University of East Anglia (UK). He also holds a masters in applied linguistics obtained from Chancellor College, University of Malawi (MW). As a lecturer, he teaches linguistics courses including language and literacy. As a Ciyawo language specialist he teaches Ciyawo language to non-native speakers, translates various documents from English to ciyawo and edits ciyawo texts. He has coordinated a pilot adult literacy support initiative in Zomba, Malawi for the Centre of Advanced Studies of African Societies (CASAS) based in Rondebosch, Cape Town, South Africa. Ahmmardouh has led in the collection, compilation and publication of a Ciyawo monolingual dictionary through the NUFU-funded Malawi lexicon (MaLex) project. He has led a language mapping team for southern Malawi in an open society initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) funded language mapping project. Dr Mjaya is the lead researcher in the UNESCO Chair GRTA-funded family literacy project.
  • Frank Mtemang'ombe
    Frank Mtemang'ombe
    Frank Mtemang’ombe is a Deputy Dean of Education and Director of E-Learning in the University of Malawi. He joined the University in 2005 as a lecturer in Education Foundations and has served in different academic leadership roles including being Head of Education Foundations Department and Head of Audio-Visual Centre of the university. He is a forward thinking, highly committed academic with more than fourteen (14) years of university teaching and research experience. He has a strong commitment to knowledge exchange and research that directly supports the use of digital technologies for improved learning outcomes at primary, secondary and university level. The recurring themes in his work concern educational technology and equity, ICT management and policy implementation, mobile learning, and teacher development. He holds a PhD in Education from the University of Strathclyde, Scotland. His PhD research was dedicated to understanding the practices and experiences of learners, educators, and scholars with emerging digital learning innovations in Malawi. He also has a Masters’ Degree in Digital Technologies Communication and Education from the University of Manchester, England and a Bachelor of Education obtained from the University of Malawi.
  • Lisnet Mwadzaangati
    Lisnet Mwadzaangati
    Lisnet Mwadzaangati is an enthusiastic researcher and lecturer in mathematics education at the University of Malawi with more than ten years of experience. She holds a doctor of philosophy degree in mathematics education and a master degree in Applied Educational Research. She is a self-motivated and dedicated lady with expertise in conducting different types of research. Lisnet’s expertise in educational research is a result of her determination in improving the quality of education in Malawi at all levels. Her research interest is in understanding issues foregrounding education quality in mathematics and other fields. Due to her strong passion for improving girls’ participation and performance in mathematics education, Lisnet focused on exploring practices that hinder girls’ participation and performance in mathematics. Having noticed that teacher knowledge is one of the major contributing factors to the poor quality of education in Malawi, Lisnet focused on exploring mathematical knowledge for teaching geometric proofs during her PhD. Lisnet is a research representative who coordinates all research activities conducted by the school of education. She is also a member of the project of “strengthening numeracy in early years primary education through professional development” which runs from 2017-2021. This is a joint project between University of Malawi (Malawi) and University of Stavanger (Norway) and is supported by the Norwegian Agency for Capacity Building in Higher Education (NORHED). Lisnet has also developed several training materials for different projects such the Strengthening of Mathematics and Science in Secondary Education (SMASSE) project funded by Japanese International Corporation Agency (JICA), and functional literacy curriculum for out of school youth project by the Ministry of Labour, Sports and Manpower Development in partnership and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
  • Foster Gondwe
    Foster Gondwe
    Foster Gondwe is a teacher educator and researcher in Education Foundations at the University of Malawi. He has a Master of Education degree from Hiroshima University, Japan, and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Malawi. He is a recipient of MEXT scholarship, currently pursuing a PhD at the Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation (IDEC), Hiroshima University, Japan. He is a also member of the Society for Information Technology in Teacher Education (SITE), USA. His work focuses on Educational Technology, Teacher Education, and Comparative and International Education. Among his recent research work, include Malawi’s Education Technology Policy Analysis, and Comparative analysis of teacher education policies in Japan, Thailand and Malawi.
  • Tiffany Banda
    Tiffany Banda
    Tiffany Banda is a PhD student (University of Witwatersrand), obtained a Master of Philosophy in Politics Democracy and Education (2004-2005) University of Cambridge – United Kingdom and Bachelor of Education with Credit (1997-2001) University of Malawi. She is lecturer in Education and Development in Africa. She assumed a number of responsibilities in the School of Education: Teaching Practice Coordinator (January 2015-2017) Faculty Representative and Co-Founder of the Environmental Justice and Sustainability Clinic – University of Malawi (Chancellor College)- 2015-present, Deputy Coordinator for Post graduate Studies (June 2014 – Dec 2014), Project Coordinator - Sub Saharan Africa Family Enrichment (SAFE) (Nov 2012-Mar 2013), Full Time Cover Supervisor/ Supply Teacher – Parkway Middle school and Manor Community College, Cambridge (Dec 2007- July 2010). She has made presented at a number of national and international conference. Trainer of trainers – Sub Saharan Family Enrichment- SAFE (May 2003 –Sept 2004).
  • Dr Jean Josephine Chavula
    Dr Jean Josephine Chavula
    Dr Jean Josephine Chavula is a Citumbuka Language Specialist and a Lecturer in general linguistics in the department of African Languages and Linguistics in the Faculty of Humanities. Jean holds a PhD in Linguistics from Leiden University (The Netherlands) and a MA in Pure Linguistics from University of Malawi. She has also served as Deputy Director at the Centre and Deputy head of department in the African Languages and Linguistics department. She has extensive experience in language research, editing and translation. She has been involved in several projects including the Language Atlas for Malawi and the HIV and AIDS and language use in Malawi, and creation of grammatical terms for Citumbuka. She has conducted extensive research in Malawian languages. She has served as Acting Director of the Centre for Language Studies. She is chief compiler of the first ever Citumbuka monolingual dictionary published in December 2018 under the MaLex project, which also benefited from UNESCO funding under intangible cultural heritage Between November 2018 and June 2019 she led the team investigating the effect of English-only instruction on skill formation and labour market readiness of young Malawians. Dr Chavula is a member of the research team in the UNESCO Chair GRTA family literacy project.
  • Alick Kadango Bwanali
    Alick Kadango Bwanali
    Mr. Alick Kadango Bwanali is a Language Specialist based at the Centre of Language Studies in the Faculty of Humanities. He has extensive experience in research in Language and Education, Health, Law and other related fields. Among other research projects, he has done research on HIV and AIDS and Language Use, Language Atlas for Malawi, Sociolinguistic Surveys for Malawian Languages. His current research interest is in Indigenous Knowledge and Education focusing on development of scientific terminologies. He was Team Leader for the Compilation of a Chichewa Monolingual Dictionary published in 2001. He also served as Acting Deputy Director for the Centre between 2006 and 2008. He has co-authored a Language textbook; Tiyankhule Chichewa: A Multidimensional Approach to the Teaching and Learning of IciChewa as a Foreign Language, published by the National African Language Resource Centre (NALRC) Press Madison. He has also previously contributed a newspaper column on language issues on behalf of the Centre. His other duties at the Centre include translation and interpretation, editing and proofreading, teaching Malawian languages to non-native speakers. Mr Bwanali is also a full time Lecturer in the department of African Languages and Linguistics. 
Mr. Bwanali is a member of the research team in the UNESCO Chair GRTA-funded family literacy project.