The National Accreditation Board (NAB) of Ghana, has discredited the numerous honorary degrees and emeritus professorships by institutions conferred on some prominent Ghanaians recently, saying some of the institutions do not have the accreditation to do so.
Some of the personalities particularly, the National Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), Kofi Portuphy, who had a doctorate degree conferred on him by an unknown US-based Day Spring Christian University of Mississippi, has started using the title; “Doctor” to precede his name in official correspondence.
Shortly, after the conferment, the NADMO boss, held a lavish party in his private West Legon residence to celebrate the achievement. Pictures of the party were splashed in many newspapers including The Herald.
But a statement issued on Monday, September 8 and signed by the Executive Secretary of NAB, Kwame Dattey, said that the situation was “in contravention of the Tertiary Institutions (Establishment and Accreditation Regulations, 2010 – LI 1984, Section 13 (1&2) and Section 19 (1&2).”
The statement added that the conferment of honorary degrees on individuals was the ”prerogative of degree awarding institutions,” including the University of Ghana and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, and as such it was illegal for unaccredited institutions to do so.
The statement went on to advise the public to be cautious in their dealings with such institutions and to “verify the accreditation status and degree-awarding powers of the institutions that seek accreditation status and degree-awarding powers of the institutions that seek to confer on them honorary degrees to avoid any embarrassing fallouts.”
About fortnight ago, Joy FM’s, Jefferson Sackey and 12 others were awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree by the Day Spring Christian University of Mississippi, at the well-attended ceremony held at the Graduate School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences of the University of Ghana, in Kwabenya – Accra.
While Mr. Sackey’s Honorary Doctorate was for his contribution to human rights awareness, the 12 other awardees who were recognised for their exemplary roles in Ghana’s development in their various fields of endeavor.
Ghana’s Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Sherry Ayittey; NADMO boss, Kofi Portuphy; Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Kofi Asamoah; Secretary General of the Ghana Federation of Labour, Abraham Koomson were among the awardees.
The Day Spring Christian University, has in the past awarded Speaker of parliament, Doe Adjaho and Coach of Ghana’s national football team, Kwasi Appiah Honorary Doctorate degrees.
The NAB expressed concerned about “…instances where some foreign institutions confer such honorary degrees, particularly doctorate degrees on prominent personalities with intent to legitimize and popularize the operations of the institutions in Ghana, and thereby seek to attract unsuspecting students to enroll in them”.
It caution the general public and “distinguished personalities invited for such awards should verify the accreditation status and degree-awarding powers of the institutions that seek accreditation status and degree-awarding powers of the institutions that seek to confer on them honorary degrees to avoid any embarrassing fallouts”.
It mentioned the various institutions established in Ghana which by is current records were eligible to confer honorary degrees as University of Ghana (UG), Legon, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), University of Cape Coast (UCC), University of Education , Winneba (UEW), University for Development Studies (UDS), University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa and the University of Professional Studies, Accra.
The rest are University of Health and Allied Sciences, University of Energy and Natural Resources, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), Valley View University (VVU), Akrofi-Christaller Memorial Research Institute and Trinity Theological College.
The NAB, therefore, warned institutions engaged in this illegality to desist or be prepared to face sanctions prescribed by the law.
It is unclear, whether Jefferson Sackey, Sherry Ayittey; Kofi Asamoah, Abraham Koomson and Coach of Ghana’s national football team, Kwasi Appiah are also preceding their names with the tilted “Doctor” from the Day Spring Christian University. However, the Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho doesn’t use it.
There are even claims that he refused to attend the ceremony to confer the Honorary Doctorate on him.
The Herald is meanwhile in the process of writing to the American authorities to confirm the creditability of the Day Spring Christian University and its activities here in Ghana.