By STEVEN ZANDE –
AN academician and consultant Peter Machungwa has urged the Government to tighten regulation around academic qualifications because misuse of titles like doctorates and professorship is damaging the image of the country and demeans the value of education.
On Tuesday, Higher Education Minister Nkandu Luo told Parliament that an increasing number of Zambians, including some politicians, were paying for academic achievements like doctorates and professorships and insisted they should be addressed as such.
Dr Machungwa, who holds a doctorate in Psychology, said individuals should be encouraged to work hard because some people who had bought qualifications were said to fail to articulate themselves at important fora abroad, thereby attracting mockery to the country.
“There are certain things that you can buy, say a television set or an article of furniture, but certainly you can’t buy knowledge,” Dr Machungwa said.
He said this in an interview yesterday.
Dr Machungwa said Zambians should realise that knowledge was acquired through focused hard work by studying in a specialised field.
He said the Higher Education Authority (HEA) should come up with ways of ensuring that people with such qualifications did not abuse their conferred titles.
And the Zambia Qualifications Authority (ZQA) said in a statement yesterday that a qualification was an award that was granted after successful completion of a programme of study.
The Authority said honorary degrees were conferred on individuals following an outstanding contribution to society, while an individual who used this qualification should have a honorary degree written against his/her name.
Professorship on the other hand was of the highest academic rank in a university department and this was conferred by a competent awarding body.