Home > Academics > You have never been to University, but you want the court to verify your ‘degree’ – Matiang’i

You have never been to University, but you want the court to verify your ‘degree’ – Matiang’i

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MATIANGI CS

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i wants it to be mandatory for the Commission for University Education to verify the degrees of all leaders before they are elected into office.

Speaking during a forum on curriculum development on Wednesday morning, the Education CS stated that some have fake degrees and when confronted went to court insisting they were authentic.

He pointed out that no one needs to go to court to prove that they attended a particular institution when there are simple ways of verification using transcripts, references to classmates or teachers and the commission.

“You know you have never sat in a university classroom. You know you have actually never done a university exam in your life. You are carrying a piece of paper which you bought from some country, then you actually want to go to court for a judge to determine that you went to school so that the judge protects your position that you hold office. We are shocked at the country in which we live,” he stated.

Currently, the commission only certifies the academic papers of leaders who studied in foreign institutions.

Chairman Henry Thairu told Capital FM News that the body is mandated to verify that the institutions are authentic.

He stated that leaders having papers from local colleges do not need to be verified since the institutions are often known.

He indicated that investigations into fake papers are only launched when a complaint is received.

Matiang’i described the situation as appalling and insisted that the process needs to be cleaned up to ensure Kenyans elect leaders of integrity.

“I am being honest as always. We go through an electoral process and we elect drug peddlers and so on. The education system must begin to educate people on value systems, the right and wrong,” he said.

“That is why these days in the secondary schools, we are having elections, class presidents, student leaders are being elected so that we can train our children on values of education. That they do not have to be bribed to make the right decision.”

He stated that the mindset of many is so fixed on cheating that it does not bother them that they are not even literate enough to hold the posts.

“You know you have never sat in a university classroom. You know you have actually never done a university exam in your life. You are carrying a piece of paper which you bought from some country, then you actually want to go to court for a judge to determine that you went to school so that the judge protects your position that you hold office. We are shocked at the country in which we live,” he stated.

“It baffles me. I cannot go anywhere on earth to insist that I have this qualifications when I don’t, but people are so brazen and they move around and they are holding leadership titles when they know in their heart of hearts that they never sat in any university,” he stated.

He said sincere leaders would have no need to prove their qualifications to anyone since it would be obvious to everyone.

“You can produce your transcripts, the professors are here. Why do I need to go to court. How could you have gone to school where there were no classmates and no one is claiming you as a classmate,” he wondered.

While giving his example, he stated that he is known at the institution where he learned and has many classmates who recognise him.

“I have many of my professors who can vouch for me, who taught me, supervised me in school and I believe all of you good people since you and I and all of us are very law abiding people, we have classmates, who went to school, we have teachers who can say that they saw us in class and we don’t need to go to a judge to confirm to us that we went to school and we didn’t,” he said.

He reiterated the need for the Commission for University Education to be involved in the vetting process so that a high standard can be maintained.

“The voice of the Commission for University Education must be heard. If you come up with a degree from a degree that we cannot recognize as a country, we should not think that you are then qualified enough then to hold office in Kenya. Because why then do we have laws on the recognition of credentials,” he stated.

“We have a law in place that states that you need a degree for this or that and you know there are people who hold elected positions to this day who do not have degrees. People launder themselves around. How do you go to court so that a judge can determine whether you went to school?”

He stated the need for education stakeholders to make our contributions towards improving the value system of education.

He said this will ensure that young people not only grow up in an environment where they respect other people, but also themselves.

“And if the law says you can only contest this position if you have a degree, if you have one, you contest, if you do not have one, you do not contest hence you stay at home. When you see people turn up, you know in your heart of hearts you never sat in anyone’s classroom and you never wrote an exam. I do not know whether that worries you,” he said.

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