Does Education Play Any Role In Politics? Is Education Important or Necessary In Politics?

Kenyans have been castigating the people seeking political offices who have no education. KCSE results showing pathetic grades for some candidates are doing rounds on social media. Some of the candidates have a questionable educational background. The question is whether education plays any role in politics and if important for those running for political office.

The development of our nation is directly dependent on the kind of people we elect to represent us. I am of the opinion that every profession has some education minimum criteria that we want the people to meet. We all want for example lecturers, engineers, and doctors who are well educated.

We all want the best doctors to treat us, and the best engineers to be in charge of our building and construction. Why then is it that we don’t want the best and most educated politicians to represent us? These are the people who will make laws that affect generations. They will make the country thrive and move forward or lag behind. It, therefore, beats logic when many argue that politicians don’t need to be educated.

Politicians make decisions every day, and these decisions affect many innocent lives. It is therefore important for them to have a wider perspective of issues to make good decisions. This wider perspective is more often than not achieved through education.

Education makes it easier for people to believe and trust in what you advance. Politicians must possess leadership skills and these are built and sharpened through education. It is through education that one is able to learn problem-solving techniques.

I am of the opinion the more educated you are, the less susceptible you should be to manipulation and misinformation. Have you ever wondered why many politicians blindly follow their political masters and why some call themselves “cows”? I believe you know the answer.

Unfortunately, we at times elect “illiterates” who become political leaders to run our country at different levels and decide how the educated people will live their lives. However, I must also say that we must be careful not to encourage political elitism for not all Kenyans can afford the best education. In a democracy, everyone has equal rights, whether smart or dumb. It could therefore be argued that insisting on educational qualifications for political presentation however great is a gross violation of one’s democratic rights.

I am also of the opinion that one may have formal education but is unlearned and vice versa. What we therefore need are people who are able to understand where the shoes of the electorate pinch most and what they need. We need politicians who have wisdom, meaning they have experience, good judgment, and knowledge.

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Do you know an educated politician who behaves unlearned? Do you know a politician without any formal education but effective in the area they represent?

Your thoughts?

Dr. Mary Mugo
Strategy, Governance, and Management Consultant.




5 thoughts on “Does Education Play Any Role In Politics? Is Education Important or Necessary In Politics?”

  1. Most of the educated people are not willing to venture into politics because of the murky campaign process…yet they are best fit to govern.. The few who choose to venture in politics are not preferred by the electorate juu ‘hawatoboki kakitu’ which is a poor mindset that makes us end up with rogue leaders wwithout an idea of what to do… God helo us as Kenyans because wee most times we don’t seem to learn..

  2. Education as percepted by many in the societal arena is the foundation of better life while politics is viewed as the source of that foundation. On a very personal perspective the two ride on each other, the better the Education the better educated people are and vice varsa. Whenever one wishes to do do farming, one would first prepare the grounds in which such farming will be carried out. At the end of the game, harvest will depend largely on the grounds and sometimes. So such a relationship is based on the 2 levels in the society. To education and politics are something irrecoverable

  3. Education plays a role, it’s necessary and important but not a sufficiency. The right level of education is good enough for politics. It shouldn’t be unnecessarily used to unfairly block some people from vying for certain political seats. For instance, KCE/KCSE is good enough; for MCA, a bachelors degree is good for MP/Senator/Woman Rep. For gubernatorial, education beyond basic degree is necessary.

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