Describe the main features of the measure/initiative:
The “MUST in Ceramic Production” initiative is an ongoing learning program carried out at Malawi University of Science and Technology through its Bingu School of Culture and Heritage (BISCH). The initiative is made possible with the support from the African Development Bank which purchased full ceramic equipment through the ‘Jobs for Youth Programme’ being implemented by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture. The aim of the initiative is to train students pursuing Indigenous Knowledge, Systems and Practices in ceramics ware production so that once they graduate they can establish their own ceramics enterprises and reduce unemployment levels while contributing towards national economic development. Additionally, the initiative aims at encouraging cultural creative thinking through exchange of ideas expressed through ceramics designs and production. For a start, the students are to be trained in ceramics wares such as cups, teapots, containers, flower vases for homestead decorations and fingerings such as candle holders and many more such products. The initiative also plans to sell some of its finished ceramics wares produced by students as a way of income generating for the University. It also plans to present some of its best ceramics wares to the Chancellor during its maiden graduation ceremony. This would be one of the ways of encouraging the students to express their talents and skills in ceramics production thereby contributing to the diversity in cultural expression as the wares displayed depict some aspects of our indigenous designs. The initiative encourages students to combine Western science and Indigenous designs thereby allowing them to explore the dialogue that exists between Western and Indigenous sciences and technologies. Thus the initiative encourages students to critically analyse our cultural values and traditions embedded in ceramic wares produced by our fore parents and merge them with Western science to produce wares that depict our culture in the contemporary world. On the reverse side, they depict contemporary human conditions in ceramic designs with an indigenous feel. The MUST Ceramic Production initiative is a multifaceted initiative when it comes to the implementation of the 2005 UNESCO Convention. Basically, it creates a platform on which students from different cultural backgrounds across Malawi can share their experiences through ceramic designs and productions thereby promoting diversity of cultural expression. On the other hand, it also allows the general public to express their cultural values and traditions through appreciation of the finished ceramic wares. Thus, the initiative promotes creative thinking, artistic skills, respect of other people’s culture, appreciation of other people’s culture, co-existence and the spirit of entrepreneurship and these are important areas that aide the successful implementation of the convention. The initiative is in line with goal 1 as it sustainably supports cultural governance through an ongoing education in ceramics production. Consequently, the initiative aides the implementation of SDG 4 (quality education) through quality equipment and qualified teachers, SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth) through creation of self-employment, SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) through appreciation and respect of other people’s cultures and SDG 17 (partnerships for the goals) through working with African Development Bank and Ministry of Youth, Sports and culture.
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the measure/initiative?:
Being a multifaceted initiative, the MUST Ceramic Production has so far produced a number of results some of which include the following: i. It has so far trained about 60 students in ceramics production. These students are capable of producing ceramic wares on their own and are ready to start their own enterprises once they graduate. ii. It has trained about 60 students in ceramic exhibition. Thus the students are able to exhibit their finished products and ably market them. An example of this was during the first graduation ceremony where some of the wares were exhibited and successfully sold. iii. Through the initiative, MUST through its Bingu School of Culture and Heritage continue to sell ceramics wares to the general public. This is a realisation of its dream of contributing to the University’s income generation programmes. iv. The initiative has managed to present as gifts some of its ceramics wares to the University’s Chancellor, Professor Peter Mutharika during its maiden graduation ceremony. This encourages students to continue working hard in producing quality wares. v. The initiative has managed to promote the spirit of creative and critical thinking among the students. This enables the students to produce quality ceramic wares embedded in indigenous designs with modern technology.