SABC board chairman Ellen Tshabalala had a BCom degree from the University of South Africa and a postgraduate degree in Labour Relations, but Unisa denied Tshabalala was awarded a degree. Parliament has instituted proceedings to suspend her with immediate effect over allegations that she lied to the institution about her qualifications. Photograph by: PUXLEY MAKGATHO
If Africa’s development is very slow, doesn’t mean that the continent hasn’t any qualified doctor, engineer, pilot etc. Our educational and professional institutes are filled up with qualified teachers, yet when African comes to Europe with his certificate or diploma, those credentials are given a second look.
An African can’t get a qualified job with his certificate in Belgium, unless he follows a similar education or training of what he studied in Africa, because Belgium is one of the European countries that considers Africa’s educational system very weak and shows much concern to fake certificates circulating in many African countries.
“About 600 from 12,000 graduates from Makerere University, Uganda, didn’t meet minimum requirements,” reports BBC Africa, on February 11, 2015. William Tayeebwa, the head of Makerere’s journalism department, told the BBC that one student had failed an exam with 44%, only to have her mark altered to 71%.
The educational institutions in Europe, including Belgium, make money from foreign students studying in Belgium. African students or individuals who can sponsor their education, can study in any Belgian institution with their credentials from Africa, but can’t work with that credentials in Belgium. An African with a welding certificate can never get employment in Belgium, until he undergoes another training as a welder for a recognized welder’s certificate.
Imagine if ‘The Mail & Guardian’ newspaper could publish an article, “Why do South African children perform worse than those in poorer countries”then what will Europeans think about Africa’s education? How do we expect Europeans to view our certificates and diplomas, when foreign embassies in Africa, especially in Nigeria, in the past have detected false credentials in visa applications?
Investigation reveals that it is very easy to purchase any professional certificate or diploma you are looking for on the streets in Africa.
The writer’s opinion and conclusion
In my native country, there is a proverb which says “If you wash your hands well, you will end up eating on the same dining table with the king.” Whatever article I write, whether it is problems Africans are facing in Europe or crimes involved, shouldn’t be taken as a disgrace to Africans or I’m washing dirty linen of Africans in public. It’s for our own good. If no one writes about them, how would Africans know?
These are some of the reasons, I don’t feel bad over negative comments some readers make against me. Once you are prepared to write, you must be prepared as well to take every ‘Delicious and distasteful comments.’ That’s what keeps me strong. Using fake certificates in looking for jobs, is a universal problem, taking place also in many advanced countries, but it is a problem which has overflow its banks in Third World Countries, especially in Africa and Asia.
This a problem African governments need to tackle, to lift up the image of Africa, which is still recovering from all kinds of diseases, including underestimation and discrimination.
Gallery: People who’ve been found out to have fake qualifications.