CRUTATOR has always known that a Bachelor of Education degree is one of the easiest courses at the National University of Lesotho (NUL).
It’s a degree that is more difficult to fail than pass. In fact, you have to work extra hard to fail it.
You have to sweat not to pass that course.
This, by the way, is not a perception but a fact.
It is not by default that everyone who has been rejected from other courses normally finds their way to the Faculty of Education.
At NUL, a degree in education is the gateway to graduation.
If you think Scrutator is kidding or being malicious then ask the teachers around.
They will tell you they never had so much fun like they did when they were doing that course at NUL.
Some will tell you that while high school gave them nightmares that course gave them wet dreams.
Scrutator has a few teacher friends who confess that they snored through their years at NUL but still got capped for that degree.
It’s not their fault. That is how life is: some things are easier than others just like some things are cheaper than others.
If you fail that degree then your COSC results must be reviewed with a view to making you rewrite those high school exams.
The credibility of your COSC has to be rechecked because it’s almost inconceivable that one could scrap through high school and then fail that degree.
magine Scrutator’s horror then when news broke last week that one of the students who was capped last month for the same degree had conned her way through the university.
Phew! Oh my God!
That is what Scrutator said when she heard of the latest stink from the NUL.
Why would one cheat her way to a degree that the university likes to hand out like confetti at a wedding?
The answer to that question is that she cheated because she could.
But beyond that, we can also speculate that she cheated because she saw how easily others were cheating their way to degrees.
This business of cheating at NUL is neither new nor shocking.
What is new is that someone has been caught in the act, nicking a degree.
We have always known that people steal degrees from NUL but we have never heard of anyone being caught and exposed.
This newly found vim to catch degree thieves is a new phenomenon at NUL.
So too is the information that the university is seriously concerned about this age old practice.
Since when has NUL bothered about the credibility of the graduates it produces?
For years its role has been to churn out what it could to the market.
Whether its degrees were dubious or shallow was always someone else’s problem to worry about.
What is shocking is that some people are actually shocked that degrees are being stolen at NUL.
Such people are feigning ignorance.
Scrutator can bet her last coin that anyone who has graduated from NUL in recent years knows someone in their stream whose journey to a degree is questionable.
This is the reality.
ut seriously, Scrutator just does not understand what this brouhaha about this suspected cheat is all about.
That most graduates from NUL are frauds is as clear as the fact that the long list of the so-called achievements the coalition government was crowing about last week are just hot air.
Read my lips: most NUL graduates cheated their way to their degrees.
But before you start fuming with anger allow Scrutator to clearly explain what she means here.
You see, the word ‘cheat’ here is not being used to mean getting a degree through bribery, plagiarism, copying or tinkering with the examination mark. No.
The point I am making is that most NUL students have degrees they don’t really deserve.
Yes they have been classified as having passed but their mental capacity is still at the same level as that of COSC students (drink some water if you are angry).
They are still wanting in their core competences.
There is glaring incongruence between what is written on their degree certificates and what they have in their heads.
They have earned the right to masquerade as bonafide graduates simply because they have a piece of paper to show as proof.
But their heads are still as light as they were before they entered NUL.
We can deny all we want but the fact remains that there is something terribly wrong with the graduates that NUL has been producing in recent years.
Something is just suspicious about them.
Talk to the people in the industry and they will tell you the same thing.
They will tell you that they have to put diapers on some of these so-called graduates.
They will tell you that many of them cannot even spell their names under pressure.
They tell you that when they get some of these graduates in their companies they have to start teaching them basics from scratch.
Senior lawyers will tell you that when they get law graduates in their firms they have to unteach and then re-teach them.
In most cases they have to redo the bulk of the work done by these graduates.
crutator has and is sure many have interacted with NUL graduates whose reasoning capacity is way lower that of junior certificate drop-outs. With every word they have uttered Scrutator has become more convinced that they learnt absolutely nothing during their years at the university.
Some individuals have been so dismal that Scrutator has been tempted to believe that they were actually messed up by the university.
It’s as if they were fine until they got their heads twisted at vasity.
It’s as if instead of educating them NUL actually turned them into retards.
Their shallowness is appalling.
Sadly, such people are always quick to peddle the college’s name.
They are incapable of finishing a conversation without saying: “When we were at NUL” or “In our days at NUL”.
They brandish the “graduate title” as if their lives depend on it.
It’s a routine they religiously follow for they know that the past glory of the university helps them hide the fact that they are actually dunderheads.
They think dropping the college’s name in every conversation will detract you from the reality that they have remained empty-heads even after spending time at NUL.
long time ago NUL graduates did not need introduction. They would walk into an institution, take a few days to learn the systems and then start doing things better than those who had been there for years.
You would give them an assignment and they would do it not only faster but better.
You could only marvel at their innovation and new ideas of doing things.
NUL graduates brought special skills to the table and they added value.
You would teach them how things are done and they would teach you how they are done better.
They were assets to institutions that employed them. They inspired their uneducated colleagues to go back to school.
Now, years later, NUL graduates still don’t need introduction but they shine in a different way.
They are outstanding in their indolence.
They walk into an institution and take years to master simple things.
Their knowledge is way behind modern trends. In 2012 they are still talking about how things were done in the 1970s.
Most of them look uninterested in their jobs.
Better salaries are what they talk about.
They are obsessed with Facebook and other social networks.
And they ratchet up the phone bill as if it’s their first time in their lives to see a phone.
When the clock strikes 4:30 pm, they are the first ones to pack their bags and head for the bus stop.
Scrutator suspects that most NUL graduates of recent years actually set their watches time 20 minutes ahead.
That way they arrive at work 20 minutes late and leave 20 minutes earlier.
Instead of uplifting the teams in which they work they drag them down.
They no longer inspire the uneducated to go back to school. This is sad but true.
qually sad is the fact that even when standards have gone south NUL remains adamant in its bad ways.
Its students are still as puffed-up as ever.
The mediocrity that we all see does not seem bad enough to jerk the national university from its deep slumber.
“Who are you?” is the question that NUL always ask anyone who points out the college’s weaknesses.
Times have changed but NUL hasn’t. The incessant crises and scandals at the state-funded university haven’t taught them humility and self introspection.
Instead of embracing criticism NUL remains in defensive mode.
Yet this should not be the case because there is nothing left to defend.
The university is in ruins and it must start rebuilding.
astly Scrutator would like to caution the so-called legal fundis who have been shouting their voices hoarse, complaining about the newspaper’s decision to name the student who is alleged to have cheated her way to a degree.
While Scrutator is nowhere near Gamaliel, the best law teacher in Jerusalem, her basic knowledge of the law tells her no law was broken.
Remember that days before the graduation the same student had taken the university to court, seeking an order to force it to allow her to graduate.
In that application the student stated her name as the plaintiff.
Court papers are generally considered to be public documents.
By filing those court papers the students actually “outted” herself.
She got her degree after a court order which is a public document.
She is not a minor because minors don’t sue to get degrees. She is not a victim of a hideous crime.
By the way, there is nothing secretive about university degrees.
If you want to check if your boss indeed attained that MBA he likes to flaunt so much you can just call their university.
Qualifications are public matters. That is why some people even put them on their business cards (silly thing that).
So whether you like it or not those who are suspected of having short-circuited their way to degrees will be named especially when their names are contained in official court papers and university documents.
If you don’t like reading their names then just skip them in the story or better still just start your own newspaper.