The good thing about all the qualifications scandals at the moment, is the fact that people in leadership positions are being taught valuable lessons in education discrimination.
It is something that ordinary South Africans have always understood, which is why university education is so coveted by most.
Most of us understand that, generally speaking, life doesn’t allow you to get very far without a degree of some sort.
Which is perhaps why so many of our politicians either get degrees themselves, or pretend to have them.
Even Julius Malema understood the value of getting a degree under his belt.
Currently the DA’s federal legal commission is looking into Mayco member Xanthea Limberg, who allegedly claimed to have degrees that she does, in fact, not have.
The story gets very convoluted, but what strikes me the most is that Limberg says all the times her supposed degrees were highlighted, it was either without her input, without her knowledge, an oversight or an inaccurate inference.
And despite her high office and very involved portfolios, these oversights never benefited her ambitions.
Setting aside that I am a fan of Limberg and her work, I have to question the logic of never looking over the biographies that are regularly sent out to the public about you.
A cursory glance is all it would’ve taken to spot an error, especially one of such magnitude and especially since attention to the finer detail is the one thing at which politicians are meant to be good.
On the other side of the political fence, the ANC’s Eastern Cape Chairman Oscar Mabuyane is the latest to become embroiled in a qualifications spat, this time with Nelson Mandela’s alma mater – the University of Fort Hare.
He is threatening to take them to court for deregistering him for his master’s degree.
Now it has to be said that he got in on what is known as Recognition of Prior Learning.
Universities sometimes do this for older people who have either studied elsewhere or gained a lot of experience in the field they want to study.
The problem is, Mabuyane’s registration is somehow tied up with a former professor who is in jail and may, in fact, be a criminal suspected of being behind the irregular registration of students.
So they have asked that Mabuyane prove that he had, in fact, submitted all the required documentation and met all the criteria for the masters’ program.
One would think that is a relatively straight-forward request that someone in his position would fully understand.
Common sense says simply resubmit the documents that they are requesting and let that be the end of it.
What’s so hard about that?
Why go through the headache and expense of a court case, when you can simply resend the documents that you say you sent a few months ago?
Education is important, people, but perhaps universities need to consider freshman courses in common sense, honesty and integrity.