THE GUIDELINES for the conferment of honorary doctorate degrees and institutions entitled to do so are unambiguous.

GraduationIn spite of these, however, such honorary degrees have been awarded by institutions which lack the authority to do so even in the countries hosting their registered offices. Ghana offers a ready source of demand for their honorary degrees.

Their recipients have not bothered it would seem to determine the quality of the honour being bestowed upon them, and to decide as to whether to decline the offer or not.

The motives behind these breaches and why the conferment of the specious degrees has been turned into an industry are somewhat blurred?they appear to be anything but decent.

The quest for the enhancement of mankind?s creature comforts has driven many to crazy heights such as preceding their names with high flaunting titles. The number of those ad hoc institutions and individuals ready to assist them achieve these objectives, their quality notwithstanding, has increased exponentially.

Exploiting our penchant for such high flaunting appellations, which these institutions hardly heard of in their own countries, have constantly bestowed the useless and worthless titles to people who can pay for the service directly and indirectly.

It is lamentable that the near-fraudulent practice has gone on almost indefinitely, until recently when the National Accreditation Board (NAB) woke up from a worrying Rip Van Winkle slumber to read the riot act about the dubious conferment.

That the victims of the conferment are public servants, including high notched political office holders, prompts serious thoughts about what accounts for the growth of the industry. It is interesting to find out how these persons were targeted and eventually won over by the tricksters whose honours lack merit and public deference.

Now that a list of recognised institutions has been put in the public domain, it is time we took a critical look at those behind the phony degrees.

Adorning the gowns of honour and putting same on the pages of newspapers is tantamount to peddling falsehood, given the fact that those bestowing the so-called recognitions are not qualified to do so.

We call on the relevant institutions, especially the NAB, to audit the honorary degrees bestowed so far on innocent Ghanaians, with a view to restoring credibility to the practice.

A roll call of the degrees so far bestowed would show a poutpouri of accomplished, wealthy and influential individuals?a ready source of the oil needed to fuel the honorary degree awarding institutions.

Very soon honorary degrees would become so ubiquitous that they would lose their value if they have not done so already.

Let the NAB not rest on their oars but take another step at ensuring that the unrecognized institutions which have bestowed the honorary degrees are named and shamed.


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