The National Accreditation Board (NAB) has warned people using honorary doctorate degrees as titles to desist from the practice or have their names published in the media.
“We are going to begin naming and shaming all those using honorary doctorate degrees with their names. We are going to start this exercise very soon. If you want to use a PhD with your name, you have to earn it,” the acting Executive Secretary of the NAB, Dr Kingsley Nyarko, made the statement when he paid a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, in Accra last Tuesday.
Dr Nyarko said there was the need to give dignity to earned academic qualifications and that the NAB would not sit unconcerned for such qualifications and titles to be abused by people who did not deserve them.
He said it was sad that the media, which is supposed to inform and educate society regarding the right ways of doing things, was rather at the forefront of the abuse of academic titles.
The acting NAB Executive Secretary indicated clearly that no one was against anybody who was awarded an honour based on merit or contributions to society, especially when the awarding institution was a chartered one “but adding it to your name is the issue.”
“There are some people who are using honorary professorial titles which are the preserve of persons who have taught at the tertiary education level. So why do we crave for some of those titles when we know that we do not have to use them?” he asked.
Dr Nyarko said although the NAB was working hard to create awareness of the issue, the media needed to help the board in its quest to bring sanity into the system with regard to the use of academic titles.
For his part, Prof. Owusu said there was the need for the NAB to be ruthless in dealing with those who were using the honorary titles.
“Honorary titles are not supposed to be used. They are honorary titles given to you. You can have it on your curriculum vitae but you are not supposed to come out in the public and say I am doctor this... when you have not got a PhD. You can’t prefix the PhD with your name, it is just decorative,” he said.
He said what made the situation worse was when such honorary titles did not come from accredited institutions.
The abuse of the titles, he said, should not be allowed to continue and he also urged the media to help in educating the public.
He said if persons using honorary academic titles did not stop it, the University of Ghana would compile their names and the institutions that awarded them and publish them in the media.