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Activists sneer at honorary degrees

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Education experts in the country have called for consistency and clear modalities universities use when conferring honorary degrees.

Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec) Executive Director, Benedicto Kondowe, was speaking amid reports that the National Accreditation Board (Nab) in Ghana has banned people who have honorary degrees from using designation of “Dr”.

Online Ghana Class Newspaper quoted Executive Secretary of the Nab, Kwame Dattey, as saying that nobody can be called a doctor for having an honorary degree.

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“You don’t have to address yourself as a doctor. If you are given an honorary degree, it is an honorary degree,” he said.

Kondowe said there is total chaos and lack of direction in the way honorary degrees are conferred in the country.

“The manner in which these degrees are offered leaves a lot to be desired.

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It puts to question the aspect of credibility of the process,” he said.

Kondowe then called for the government to ban issuance of these degrees unless the government puts in place clear modalities in which these degrees are conferred.

“You wouldn’t see the difference between those who have earned these doctorates and those who have not because primarily a degree must be earned,” he said.

He said those who earn the degrees academically contribute immensely to the body of knowledge which can help society.

If this is not regulated, then there will not be a distinction between those who have contributed academically to the country. We should give credit to those who have earned their degrees. Those who have honorary degrees should not be addressed as doctors. Robert Mugabe, Barack Obama and several other people have honorary doctorates but they are not called doctors,” he said.

Nab of Ghana has also withdrawn a licence of one of the colleges; The Swiss Management Centre, a private university in Switzerland, which operated in Ghana for dishing out honorary degrees needlessly.

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