Do you need a degree to be a leader?
Posted Monday, June 25 2012 at 01:00
Is university education a prerequisite for an elective post? Is secondary education enough?
Well, Parliament wants to ensure that the next cadre of leaders all have tertiary level education.
It is difficult for a politician to stand up in Parliament and defend people seeking elective posts but do not possess a university education.
This is because if the names of those voicing their dissent against the law were put on paper, there will be a strong correlation between not attending university and not supporting the requirement.
Their opponents, on the other hand, are driven by the zeal of the entitled and the accomplished, the sort of haughtiness you can only find in a meritocracy.
They believe that a university education entitles you to more than those who have not bothered to seek higher education.
It is a ludicrous view that spending time in a university expands the mind in any way. Studying for the sake of studying is well and truly dead.
Universities are meant to instil a set of skills that are convertible into gain in the market outside.
The reason most students in secondary say they want to become doctors is not because they are moved by the suffering of their fellow man; it is because of a purely pecuniary outlook.
We no longer study for the sake of study; we aim to achieve a stated financial goal.
So it is entirely right that we decouple university from any Olympian values that those supporting the law espouse.
Tertiary education is nowadays weighed against employment opportunities. Literature is not a top choice among students because it is not immediately convertible into a job in the market.
Education is no longer about expanding horizons or cultivating intellect.
In fact (though I do not have the studies to prove it), most students at university read next to nothing outside what is required reading for their course.
More intellectual pursuits concerning philosophy, art, and beauty have been shunted to the fringes.
Let us not forget that recently, former Higher Education minister William Ruto suggested eviscerating the humanities as they do not directly contribute towards Vision 2030 (I usually refer to that as his other charge of crimes against humanity).
Universities are in danger of becoming technical training institutes that only seek to imbue in their students a specific set of skills.
Besides, we all know that if you are truly successful in your field, you will eventually get an honorary degree.