It seems that practitioners of the legal profession are just as likely as their counterparts in the medical and teaching profession to succumb to the deadly sin of bogus certifications. For years diploma mills, both here and abroad, have preyed on individual needs for ensuring their entry and thereafter legitimising their stay—prolonged or otherwise– in any profession or job. So when the Higher Education Commission informed the Supreme Court on Nov 7 that the degrees of more than 200 lawyers were fake there was no real sense of shock and little gnashing of teeth.
In an increasingly credential conscious world, career-minded individuals have deluded themselves into thinking that falsifying their qualification is justified because they have earned it after paying hefty fees for the certification — no matter how fraudulent or illegal it is. However, to seek solace behind such faulty reasoning is nothing but a grave insult to all those who read law diligently and obtained their degrees after years of hard work and fulfilling the rigorous demands of scholastic discipline.
It won’t be wrong to say that the scourge of falsifying education degrees has infected every sphere of public life in Pakistan. The effort to smoke out the transgressors and stop them from invading public life will be a long and tiring exercise, draining the energies of tens of hundreds of people but it is an initiative worth undertaking and never abandoning.
Acceptance of forged degrees means glossing over the education of the heart which encompasses scholasticism as well as character and community development. True education is a commitment to lifelong learning by embracing and pursuing intellectual opportunities. Scholarship requires dogged effort and self-discipline. By discovering and using fraudulent shortcuts to success, we risk devaluing the purpose of higher education.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 9th, 2018.