COMPETENCE AND MORALITY: BEYOND THE CERTIFICATE IN A WORLD OF OPPORTUNITIES

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Dr. Susan Olajoke Akinkurolere (Technical Aid Corps Volunteer)

A Senior Lecturer and Associate Dean of Research, College of Education, Open and Distance Learning

Kampala International University, Uganda

Watching a movie stirs a feeling of satisfaction when it ends as expected. No wonder, every student looks far beyond the herculean experiences of studying to a beautiful relief and wonderful sense of fulfillment after convoking. Then, much is desired after the brief euphoric emotion and the world of reality unravels in a flash. It is a reality accompanied with mixed feelings; apparently, a reality that is beyond qualification(s).

The cheering news is that the reality is pregnant with diverse opportunities, which graduates have been groomed to discover as implicit and explicit opportunities through competence and morality. Only through this can one achieve good success in life. With all sincerity, a certificate is comparable to a sword, which demands efforts and strength from a warrior to hit a target. Therefore, everyone targets success− good success in life. The efforts and strength are comparable to competence and morality, coupled with the knowledge already acquired, which are essential ingredients necessary for achieving success in life.  No doubt, the most intelligent professor or lawyer could constitute the worst menace in a nation without morals.

Interestingly, English Cambridge Dictionary defines competence as the ability to do something well, while Business Dictionary describes competence as a cluster of related abilities, commitments, knowledge, and skills that enable a person or an organization to act effectively in a job or situation. Of a truth, knowledge and skills acquired by students must be demonstrated in the real world effectively. Moreover, morality, according to Oxford English Dictionary, encompasses all principles concerning right and wrong or good and bad behavior matters of public/ private morality. It is imperative to state that a morally sound person is conscious of the degree to which an act is good or bad.  

It must, however, be noted that competence and morality are different concepts that must work hand-in-hand for anyone to achieve good success in life. Beyond the certificate implies being cognizant of morality and competence, which require conscious efforts on the part of an individual. Interestingly, morality goes beyond conformity with codes and ethics of a particular profession to being fair to others in all contexts, whether stipulated or not. Morality is never implicitly classified like a certificate but the evidences are clear and obvious, albeit with time. Evidently, morality remains a crucial influence everywhere.

Securing or creating employment in a highly competitive world is as simple as even doing something differently. What can a graduate do differently from others?  It is as simple as designing folders in a different way or engaging patients in a different way in the hospital. There are opportunities for limitless possibilities in the real world. A creatively competent person does things in a super or exceptional manner, sees beyond his qualification to perceive new ideas extraordinarily.

Technological advancement has shut down some jobs but it has also indirectly created more opportunities. In essence, the knowledge and skills acquired in an institution are the basic keys to unlock the opportunities through creative application. In order to gain an edge in the competitive world, knowledge acquired should be competently and morally applied to accomplish specific tasks or solve specific problems. The knowledge of technology is not meant to threaten various spaces globally but to explore unending opportunities in a world of possibilities. The most effective way of placing substantial value on any certificate is the demonstration of effective competence and good morals.

Success begins at any moment!

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