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.
Universities, in the classical sense that I believe Parliament alludes to, do not exist.
The humanities that were thought to enrich man and expand the intellect are almost excluded from other courses.
To be achieved, they must be pursued independently. Students almost automatically shun this option.
There is a near Philistine disregard for the humanities. In our universities, with their bureaucratically designed and market prescriptive curriculum, you learn that additional queries or a wider approach to learning is not only unnecessary, it is a burden.
I know of a 25-year-old who remarkably, in 2011, did not know the Speaker of the Kenyan Parliament.
But this was not the most remarkable fact; what was is that he was so unembarrassed that he actually went ahead and asked about this common fact.
How hard would you have to work to not know the Speaker? You would need to rigorously ignore all media for over four years, and have friends that are similarly afflicted. The man had a degree.
With the law, we will have a situation where men like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Richard Branson could not get elected despite clearly being successes in their own right, just because they thought university education was an unnecessary speed bump.
Oh, and the deputy speaker in the debate said that honorary degrees do not qualify for consideration.
Let us take a job as inconsequential in nature as, say, the United States presidency.
What does this high office require of those who want to have an oval office and nuclear weapons on standby?
You need only be a native-born American citizen, over 35, and must have lived in the US for at least 14 years.
No degrees are required; all that is needed is to show a remarkable willingness to bomb other countries.
A university education, while fanciful and at times useful, should not be used to disenfranchise any) from running for any position.
Degree holders are not cut from better cloth than non-degree holders.