ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, Octomber 15, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 20

‘Come, buy our titles’

By W.S. Thilakaratne, Mount Lavinia

For the past few years, a Japanese University “The International University for Martial Arts” has been awarding (selling) honorary titles such as “Professor, Doctor” to Sri Lankans. Last month, these titles had been awarded to more than ten individuals a function held at Hotel Western, Bambalapitiya. Some of the other recipients include teachers, astrologers, travel agents, grocery owners etc. Some do not possess even G.C.E. (O/L) qualifications.

Though it is claimed that these titles have been awarded in recognition of their services towards society, actually it is not, for these titles are awarded on payment of Rs. 50,000 - 60,000, to the local coordinator of this University. There is a teacher from a leading boys’ school in Colombo who already has this ‘Dr.’ title in front of his name, who canvasses people for the award of these titles. The coordinator too uses the title “Professor” in front of his name.

An astrologer uses both titles viz. Professor and Dr. simultaneously in front of his name, not knowing that when the title ‘Professor’ is used, the title ‘Dr’ is not used. This practice of awarding such honorary titles to individuals with little or no educational background, merely for a fee, ridicules the professionals and academics who get these titles after undergoing a strenuous university career of three-five years and also negates the value of these titles. It is high time that relevant authorities take steps to restrict the activities of unscrupulous individuals and universities selling various titles .

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Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.