Associate Prof Nancy Chitera - The Principal
|Served||From December, 2020|
|Qualifications||PhD, Maths Edu, Msc, Maths, BED (Science)|
A trained mathematics educationalist, Nancy Chitera has been the acting principal of the University of Malawi—The Polytechnic since 10th November 2020. In terms of her academic appointment, she is an associate professor in the Faculty of Applied Sciences since July 2012, where she conducts research and teaches mathematics, statistics, and research courses to both undergraduate and postgraduate students, including supervision of master’s and PhD students. (She has also been an external examiner at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa since 2011.) Prior to becoming acting principal, she had served as vice principal since 2013, a position that allowed her to broaden her horizons as a manager.
In her capacity as vice principal, Chitera had to coordinate with and advise the principal on all academic matters, broadly defined. More specifically, she was tasked with optimizing the use of human and financial resources, ensuring adherence to academic quality standards, promoting strategies and procedures for quality assurance, coordinating the design and review of curricula, coordinating the preparation and implementation of the College strategic plan, and developing and testing College risk and crisis management plans. In this vein, she headed the following College-wide committees: CTS and Students Disciplinary Committee, Finance and Management Committee, College Strategic Plan Implementation Committee, College Quality Assurance Committee, and Internal Procurement Committee.
Chitera’s ascension to the position of vice principal was one of her proudest achievements, and it was the culmination of her having held a number of increasingly responsible positions within the Faculty of Applied Sciences, within the Department of Mathematics, at the College-wide level, and at the University-wide level. Immediately prior to her becoming vice principal, Chitera was dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences. Also at the faculty level, she was coordinator of the mathematics and statistics curriculum review process. She has also been deputy head of the Department of Mathematics and coordinator of teaching practice, also at the departmental level.
At the College-wide level, she spearheaded the implementation of technical, entrepreneurial and vocational education training (TEVET) programs, which were implemented in collaboration with partners from the University of Regina, Canada. Her role involved advising various stakeholders, and monitoring and evaluating the progress of the project. In this capacity, she was also a liaison, working with various offices at the Polytechnic and the respective authorities at Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MoEST), Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TEVETA), Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) Malawi Chapter, and MCCI. She also served as coordinator of the Policy Research Unit and chairperson of the Strategic Implementation Committee; both positions were at the College-wide level. At the University-wide level, Chitera was chairperson of the Deans Committee and the University of Malawi Representative to the Mzuzu University Council. (Mzuzu University is a public university in the northern region of Malawi.)
As a researcher, Chitera is proud of the impact of her research, which has been published in various peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. Much of her research focuses on the use of language in mathematics education, particularly the impact of multilingualism in the classroom. In fact, she volunteers her expertise at Chadzunda and Manyowe primary schools, looking at improving the teaching and learning of mathematics. She was an editor, in 2006, for the Association of Mathematics Education in South Africa (AMESA), and is