Never in the history of Kenya has the qualification of a degree sparked so much debate and to good effect as it does now. You see, there are things a lot of people can do without the rigors of higher education, but it seems that with a degree, there’s a solid value that comes with accumulating wealth during those many years on campus interacting with books, scholars, students. , and people from all walks of life.
The students of the educational foundation will tell you that education is that process which brings about permanent change. Well, one of the most interesting theories in education is the mirror hypothesis. This theory posits that education helps us to have a picture of what a learner can do and that a learner is born with the instinctive ability to do. In other words, in addition to leading to permanent change, it also helps us understand how good a learner is at the discipline in which a learner naturally has an innate ability. a doctor and education do more to tell us how good a learner is a doctor and definitely change him from a learner to a doctor.
Now the hallmark of education for most Kenyans is a bachelor’s degree and traditionally this should be understood from the 8-4-4 system which ends after four years of university study. After university education, one is expected to have a solid foundation in a discipline with a deeper understanding of the principles, concepts, theories and related knowledge and skills that are applicable in industry. Thus, permanent change is meant to be seen in the way graduates apply themselves to solving real-life problems. In journalism for example, after four years of training at the J school, a graduate is expected to be competent enough to study the socio-political, economic and cultural environment and identify what is news and report to society only what is in the public interest. interest. The excellence of a journalist, teachers, engineers, etc. in his work depends on education. But inherently, from the mirror hypothesis, if you have the aptitude to be a journalist, you are technically a storyteller, and education only helps us understand how good a storyteller you are.
Now, in politics, you meet very interesting characters with very funny diplomas, and you wonder why a professional in a profession that deals with public administration and the allocation of resources, politics, legislation and of the representation of the people would opt for a major that has nothing to do with the application of its skills. And why they opt for universities, we only hear about when there is controversy. One would expect an A student in Kenya’s education system to gain easy admission to an elite university in the region or anywhere in the world. Kenya has nearly 90 accredited universities, many of which operate with letters of interim authorities and one wonders why a politician has to leave all these universities to go to a country and settle for a little known university whose accreditation status is questionable.
And what happened to strategic thinking in leadership. How is it possible for leaders to solve the plight of the people they represent or simply solve the fundamental problems of the people who give them power if they cannot manage their own lives and professional growth. How can the electorate trust leaders who pose as graduates of our elite universities and serve as elected leaders under such a false pretense for almost ten years? Leaders who know and understand the demands of the next level of their professional lives but either sit back and do better or slide down the integrity slope to the worst. Such leaders prowl the streets of our cities and towns, and they abandon one previous line of thought after another as they slide down the slippery slope of integrity, leaving in their wake the politicization of their academic qualifications and questions about their integrity. You see, a degree makes a big difference, and it’s either the process that leads to a permanent change in you and everyone can discern how good you are at the discipline, or you have absolutely nothing. other than playing where you are. Some street guys get away with smarts, but only to the extent that your performance is solid and the requirements don’t need paper. Where requirements require papers, intelligence is just that intelligence and laws and regulations are just that, laws and regulations.
Therefore, as a requirement for some political office, it’s either you have it or you don’t. Court cases, politicization and the public whipping of emotions at political rallies cannot confer a degree and question whether or not others have made genuine questionable papers. A diploma is like money, when you have it, you don’t have to show it, you have to see it. But thanks to politicians, some of these Gen Z folks following the degree drama are learning that while you can do things and pull strings here and there, a degree is the anchor of so much. It not only gives you that paper, shows the world how good you are at a particular discipline, but also builds an intellectual infrastructure to empower you to explore beyond the discipline. It gives you the power to do….
The author is a doctoral candidate in media studies and political communication.