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Desperate Job Seekers Borrowing Certificates; Is this a reason we end up with unqualified MP's?

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by nngu007, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. nngu007

    nngu007 JF-Expert Member

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    Mar 22, 2011
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    21 March 2011

    When her friend came looking for help, Asha Jaibu (not her real name) would have done what anyone else would do for a good old friend under the circumstances. The Form Four leaver wanted very much to do the "big favour" her friend had asked for, except that for her, it was a bit overboard.
    "She approached me with a request for what she said was a special favour that I only could assist her with," says Asha. "I asked her to explain herself, and without beating about the bushes, she asked if she could borrow my O-level certificate."


    "She had not passed her final national O-level exams, and has been staying home doing nothing. So, she wanted to try her luck at a local teachers' college using my certificate since I was not going to use it anymore."
    But being the first time it had occurred to her, Asha thought her friend was joking. Soon enough, she realised that she was mistaken because her friend persisted until she told her to give her time to think about it. "When she came back I told her in no uncertain terms that I really wished her well, and that I wanted also to help, but lending her my certificate was something that I could not do, not even to my own sister."
    An inconceivable idea


    Yet while to Asha the idea of helping out a friend by lending him or her one's academic certificate seems to be an inconceivable idea, it is no longer so to many people. Apparently, her case could just be the tip of the iceberg. Many desperate job seekers and people with no academic qualifications but want to further their education are resorting to borrowing certificates. The borrowers are willing to go all the way using other people's names. To them, the end justifies the means.
    How possible is it? One may wonder. Petra Pendo*, a primary school teacher at a public school in Kibaha says one must be willing to adopt another one's name - that is all it takes.
    "I did not use my own certificate to enroll for the teaching course in college. It was my sister's papers that I used," says Pendo, preferring to hide her real identity because she knows what she did is against the law.
    She continues: "When I asked for the certificate, it was a desperate moment for me. My sister was continuing with A-level then, so I thought she would pass, and therefore, she would not need the O-level."However, Pendo ran out of luck after her sister failed A-level, and needed to use the O-level certificate to apply for jobs.


    "At first it was okay because she was looking for jobs in private companies until when she got a chance to join teaching college. But by that time I was already a teacher, and I was using her name," Pendo recalls."So, my sister had to use the same name, and so when they were processing salaries the same name was appearing twice." After that, Pendo had to leave her job and re-sit Form Four. Now, she is pursuing her diploma in teaching in Arusha.
    In 1999, a Kiswahili daily reported that the ministry of Education and Vocational Training had caught 19 teachers, who had been using fake academic certificates in Mbeya. In the same year, an unspecified number of unqualified Grade III A trainee teachers in various colleges were discontinued after it was discovered that they were using fake certificates.
    At Kange Teacher's College in Tanga, it was reported that of its 1,588 candidates only 154 had valid certificates.
    Desperate measure


    Borrowing certificates or using fake papers is a sign that people are desperate - they want jobs at any cost, notes Marystella Wassena, acting commissioner for education with the ministry of Education and Vocational Training. "People are desperately looking for jobs, and those who can't easily get any after failing O-level believe that teaching is their easiest way out.
    That is why this problem seems to be affecting teachers' colleges the most," says Wassena. She quickly blames the problem for the presence of incompetent teachers in public schools. But there have been efforts to curb the problem.
    "We have introduced a system to take all the certificates of students chosen to study teaching to the National Examination Council of Tanzania (Necta) for verification," says.This is not enough to expose people, who would have borrowed certificates, but without giving actual figures, she adds that "quite a number" of teachers and teacher trainees have been disqualified in the past years. Levina Kavishe, a Dar es Salaam resident, says the use of fake or borrowed certificates is a sign of a society that is "morally degraded".
    "People don't care anymore about the development of this country but their selfish interests. How can one borrow or lend a certificate to a person who wants to become a teacher, and one day teach our children?" she queries.
    Necta public relations officer John Nchimbi says it is a serious offence to borrow or lend a certificate. "It is not that people don't know - they know it is against the law. It's their lack of morals that force them to do this with no guilty conscience," he says.
    Nchimbi adds that the problem has declined in the ministry of education. He reveals that the other institution where many students use fake papers is the ministry of health. The problem is not as rampant in the private sector as it is in government institutions, suggests Gloria Luckford, a human resource manager with Exim Bank Tanzania.
    "It is hard to know if someone is using a genuine or fake certificate, but at our bank we require people to provide their relevant ID's for verification before they are hired," she says
     
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