Honorary doctorates don’t help solve our crises

The amount of work that goes into obtaining a PhD is just insane, the writer says.
The amount of work that goes into obtaining a PhD is just insane, the writer says.
Image: 123RF/Rattanakun

Over the years we have seen prominent politicians awarded with honorary doctorates and this would be applauded if real leaders were awarded. In 2013 we learned that former president Jacob Zuma was next in line to receive an honorary doctorate.

Zuma was known for corruption even around that period. Scholars work hard and give all sorts of sacrifices with the hope that someday they will be declared professors. An honorary doctorate is for a good cause and prominent leaders to be appreciated while they are still alive.

The thought of calling someone like Zuma Dr Zuma does not sound right. Here is a man who is alleged to have crippled state-owned entities along with his Gupta associates. How is a person expected to call someone like that Dr Zuma?

The amount of work that goes into obtaining a PhD is just insane. The amount of research one must do is intense, hence not everyone gets to that level. Real doctor’s work hard for their titles and deserve to be respected. Just recently, MaMkhize received an honorary doctorate and has now asked people to refer to her as Dr President Shawn Mkhize.

We should be promoting learning and encouraging political leaders to go to school. People cannot obtain doctorates they do not deserve.

SA needs leaders who can move the country forward, issuing out honorary doctorates willy-nilly does not add any value to our economy and society at large.

Our country needs solutions to help reverse the jobs crisis we face and the rising Covid-19 deaths. Honorary doctorates can wait for now.

Doctor Mahlaule, email

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