Give universities enough funds to end scam in awarding of degrees

The article “Politicians among victims of revocation of fake papers” (Saturday Nation, July 8, 2017) acknowledges that although policies have been put in place to help ensure transparency at our institutions of higher learning, we are still experiencing problems.

It is worrying that some of the institutions are awarding certificates fraudulently.

AUDITING

I welcome efforts by the Commission for University Education and the government in revoking fraudulently acquired papers.

However, their efforts towards ending this scandal leave a lot to be desired.

Issuing warnings and afterwards revoking the fraudulently acquired certificates after some auditing and identification of the culprits appears more of dealing with the matter superficially.

CORRUPTION
If this is the method they intend to primarily depend on in dealing with the matter, I foresee trouble.

Soon, the systems meant to restore sanity at our institutions of higher learning will no longer be useful.

Some underserving Kenyans who hold influential positions acquire degrees by paying bribes to corrupt university staff members.

MODERATING FACTORS
I do not support corruption but we need to take a critical look at the issue.

We have always attributed bribery to greed, especially on the part of those who receive kickbacks.

We are known to be heartless to the recipients but we should understand that there are some conditions that exacerbate corruption.

SALARY

The problem arises due to inadequate commitment by the government in supporting universities.

What stops a broke clerk, for example, from accepting a “tip” in these hard times when the government has not fully committed itself to the collective bargaining agreement with university staff members?

Wouldn’t it take a lot more than just temperance for a lowly paid high-quality educational researcher and lecturer to avoid favouring an indolent but well-heeled politician who happens to be his or her student at such very tempting moments?

FUNDING

Will the university management ever have a conducive atmosphere to bring dishonest staff members to book when the workers are asked to viciously seek external industrial partnerships and other alternatives for resources amid inadequate State funding?

Our universities are given insufficient attention and resources.

The government favours basic education at the expense of higher education, perhaps because it is easy to use as a campaign statement and get massive votes with little or no accountability.

CLEAN-UP
Our universities end up grappling with an acute shortage of funding.

This and other factors cause gaps, a situation that promotes corruption regarding certificates.

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has made commendable efforts in restoring the good image of our education system, especially at the primary and secondary school levels.

With the same vigour, he should help in further empowering our universities since their wellness directly leads to the country’s industrial and economic growth.

ABOOK BRIAN, Nairobi.

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Patriotic Serem did what no one else would’ve dared do

Sarah Serem, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission chairperson, is one Kenyan who deserves a pat on the back.

She has done what many would not have dared to do.

She has, so to speak, quietly fought the tiger and taken the skin home.

IRON LADY
For a long time, our elected representatives, especially MPs and county assembly members, have raided public coffers with impunity and fattened their wallets to a point where everybody prayed and hoped a miracle would happen to save the situation like the one Serem has performed.

Our elected representatives are the best paid in the world and I still believe they will remain so even after the SRC’s action.

The iron lady has saved Kenyans from this greedy lot especially MPs and MCAs who, it seems, are out to milk us dry.

DUTY

Serem has also told Kenyans to appreciate the meaning of self-sacrifice in serving this country.

All our leaders are not paupers and it won’t really affect them if they were to give their services for free.

We should embrace the idea of payment being commensurate with the work done.

DEVELOPMENT

For some of our leaders, this is the joke of the century.

This country deserves the likes of Serem and I hope and pray we have embarked on a road that will see more funds go to development and growth other than to individual pockets.

For those who have been going for elective positions with an eye on the cookie jar, Serem has read them the riot act.

DAVID M. KIGO, Nairobi.

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