THE Key to the development of any country is the presence of highly qualified manpower to work in different sectors of the economy to steer economic growth. Economies without enough trained manpower spend more from the exchequer to bring expatriates on board to drive key economic sectors to economic opulence.
In many countries, education is one of the biggest consumers of the national budget. While the spending is justified, there is a constantly growing but worrying trend which, if not nipped in the bud, will drastically damage education standards while diluting the output of manpower on the job market.
The bewildering and cleverly drafted education protocols and declarations such as; the 2000 Dakar Declaration and the 2007 East African Community draft education protocols may not be worth the papers they are written on if, urgent corrective measures are not enacted by higher education institutions to monitor the quality of graduates that they produce.
No more circumlocutions. Now, straight to the point. I am talking about the fact that many students in higher education institutions are having their exams done for them. Even as this problem spirals, several managers at these institutions remain aloof despite the fact that the anomaly is in the public domain.
In one of the prominent EAC universities, a journalist noted adverts on the university notice boards calling students at different levels of studies to have their assignments and academic papers done for them by professionals at a fee ranging between an equivalent of Rwf200,000 and Rwf1,000,000.
So you can enroll in a research based Master’s programme and sit in your office or lounge at your home and let your money do the studying for you. Asked to comment, a don at the university in question, blamed it on the ‘worsening clomour for papers fueled by a diminishing job market and high qualification thresholds set by employers.’
While quality sinks, the amassing of fraudulent qualifications thrives. You can spend money to get a legal fake qualification rather than buy fake papers on the streets.
‘It strikes me that such cases where people have their exams written for them by others are so commonplace at the institutions of higher learning that they have become normal,’ one person noted.
This new style of cheating is as rampant as it is not said. Few people are thinking and working while a mammoth wait to prey on the labour of the few intelligent.
While all and sundry grapple with reality, the players in the education sector should take the challenge. We cannot bury our heads in the sand like the proverbial ostrich and assume that nothing is going on or things are under control. The fact is, very few people among the thousands or millions of the graduates in the labour market are properly educated. The rest are spectators turned players.