Should College Degree be Required for Politicians?
The midterm election is fast approaching. Many are interested and filed their candidacy for government office. Many are re-electionists while others are trying their luck for the first time because, why not? Almost anyone can run for office.
In the current Philippines Constitution, the qualifications are as follows:
Sec. 3. Qualifications. — An elective local official must be a citizen of the Philippines, a qualified voter; resident of the district, municipality, city or province where he proposes to be elected, as the case may be, for at least six (6) months at the time of the filing of his certificate of candidacy; must be at least twenty one (21) years of age on election day; and must be able to read and write.
Note that there are no specific requisites for educational background.
Recently, this issue is a popular discussion in forums and the social media. Should a person running for political office have a college degree?
It is important to remember that politicians help shape not only the country’s future but also the individuals’. They are responsible for promulgating laws that will be used by land for a long time. In addition, the execution and implementation also lies on their leadership and compliance.
On the other hand, it is a popular campaign slogan that a leader should have the heart to serve and has the capability to empathize to the needy. It is, after all, a civil service. Moreover, there is what we call “underdog ‘appeal. Some people tend to support the underdog more than the favorite because they feel like underdogs work harder. An addition, the masses love ‘success stories’ such as that of Cinderella. No wonder politicians appeal to the masses’ emotions during campaign periods.
It is agreed, however, that education is important. Politicians are either lawmakers, executors and leaders after all. They need a good grasp of what’s happening and must have the foresight on the resolution of problems and create a better nation to live in. Problem-solving skills, critical thinking and reasoning are imperative and in the process, they need to have vast knowledge; from understanding processes, procedures and issues to implementation and enforcement.
But is education equivalent to college degree? Others may cite examples of leaders without college degrees. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill didn’t attend college at all and yet they are popular in the world of politics.
When applying for a job, most companies prefer applicants for college degrees whether the position applied for is a minimum wage or an executive one. Politics is also a career and politicians also get paid; not to mention from common people’s taxes.
So, what do you think?
Let’s discuss with aimtalk teachers”
- What’s your own opinion about the issue mentioned in the article? Do you think politicians should have college degrees?
- In your own point of view, what should be the qualifications of a person aiming for a government position?
- Have you ever dreamt of becoming a politician? Why or why not?
candidacy(n): the position of being one of the people who are competing in an election
municipality(n): a town, city, or other small area, which has its own government to make decisions about local affairs or the official in that government
requisite(n/adj): something that is needed for a particular purpose
promulgate(v): spreading an idea or belief to as many people as possible
underdog(n): a person, team etc that is weaker than the others, is always expected to be unsuccessful, and that is often treated badly.
imperative(adj/n): extremely important and needing to be done or dealt with immediately