Tertiary institutions in the country are opening for new academic calendar as parents send their wards to school for job enhancing academic laurels. One thing that should not be glossed over is the quality of the academic certificate as there are a lot schools mushrooming at every corner of the country particularly the major cities awarding questionable certificates.
In order to streamline the certificate awarding institutions, the role of the National Accreditation Board (NAB) comes in handy. It is very clear that the National Accreditation Board needs the support of the public to be able to perform its gate-keeping role in safeguarding the credibility of educational products sold to the public.
NAB has always come under immense public scrutiny when it fails to perform such gate-keeping roles.
In fact, it is always accused of looking on unconcerned while unaccredited educational institutions flourish with their half-baked graduates.
The truth of the matter is that NAB, as it stands under the law, does not even have the power to clampdown on these unaccredited educational institutions.
They only regulate those institutions that they have accredited and have no power to go after the quack who are doing brisk business in Ghana.
Some might not know the efforts they put in albeit, under severe resource constraints, in safeguarding the credibility of educational products sold to the Ghanaian public.
Is it not clear that it is because of the way the law has been structured that is why individuals and institutions of dubious backgrounds appear to be taking NAB’s accreditation regime for granted and flout its authority with impunity?
Our investigative findings indicate that the problem of dubious academic qualifications is not limited to tertiary institutions alone. The canker has eaten very deep into the fabric of the Ghanaian educational system. As a result, products coming out of Ghanaian tertiary institutions struggle to find their feet in the job market.
In as much as we do not want to appear to be holding brief for NAB, we can say that they are always working behind the scenes to ensure that state institutions do not engage people with questionable academic qualifications such as what we are witnessing at SSNIT. The Head of IT, Caleb K. Afaglo is under investigation by the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) for presenting fake degrees to secure the SSNIT plum job. We know very well that NAB might have a role to play if the EOCO investigation is to be successful.
As some experts have pointed out, the problem of questionable academic qualifications is assuming alarming proportions and has infected almost every institution—government, higher educational institutions, the private sector, the diplomatic service among others. Caleb Afaglo’s case is a classic example and we agree perfectly with these experts.
People are pointing to a porous system but our investigations have revealed that there is a rigorous system put in place by NAB before an investor can have his/her institution accredited. There is some misconception about how much is charged but a cost benefit analysis shows that NAB is even the end-loser in the scheme of things. It is no wonder they are always cash-strapped. NAB’s story is similar to what is going on at the National Media Commission (NMC) where this critical state institution is also under-resourced to sanitize the media landscape. In fact it cuts across many state institutions.
We therefore add our voice to the calls to urgently review NAB’s instrument of authority to include prosecutory powers, so that it can hold people accountable when they flout its regulations.