By Lawrence Williams
A scholar once opined that a fake degree is just a click of a mouse and a cheque away. This paradox holds true when looking at the fake degree epidemic which seems to have engulfed some of the most reputable governance sectors in the country. For us to fully comprehend this phenomenon, we must examine its costs and benefits, as well as its implications for effective governance and sustainable development. Why have successive governments failed to address the basic issues of everyday life and the lack of basic social services that should, at the very least, get life moving for every Sierra Leonean? You be the judge!
Philosopher Aristotle distinguished between what it means to be educated and what it means to be uneducated. He said “the educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living from the dead”. This is just as true today as it was back then.
Since there is no strong and genuine political will to drive the process forward, the national crusade against fake degree holders in the government and civil service seems to be getting nowhere. This is evident from the inaction demonstrated so far by the government leadership with respect to this issue. Political leaders should act decisively and set the unprecedented precedent of sacking all government appointees whose fake degrees have been confirmed.
It appears that the failure of the political leadership to act demonstrates a lack of integrity and a tendency towards conspiratorial neglect by the people responsible for promoting good governance.
It stands to reason that the failure and neglect by the political leadership to sack all political appointees alleged to have secured fake degrees from unaccredited institutions gravely undermines the quality of decision-making at the highest level of political governance. Whenever people with moral and integrity bankrupt character are appointed to public positions of trust and honesty, a blanket amnesty is always granted. Nonsense!
In our experience, governments everywhere pretend to address critical issues of this nature at the outset, but then let them die naturally, in hopes they will slip people’s minds.
Nevertheless, due to the enormity of implications for Sierra Leone’s democratic governance and sustainable development, we are interested in both the process and the outcome of this fake degree epidemic. In order to keep the discourse public, we will continue to publish as many publications as possible.