Republican presidential candidates should have a university degree

By Given Mutinta

Socrates, a Classical Greek Athenian philosopher once said that, ‘there is only one good, education, and one evil, illiteracy.’ He argued that leaders must be educated if they are to have the ability to influence their people to move from ‘darkness to light’.

Deducing from Socrates’ perspective, education is consequently one of the major makings that play a vital role in the effective performance of a president. To a large extent, a president’s education influences the performance of a country. For this reason, it is necessitous for a president to be educated.

This elucidates why we should adopt an article to include a university degree in the draft constitution as one of the minimum academic qualifications for Republican presidential candidates. This will allow us to have presidents who have undergone a formal process of education or rather learning that results in enhanced mental capability to function effectively in familiar and novel socio-economic situations our country is facing.

If we are a serious-minded people ready to move with time, a university degree should be an eligibility criterion to run for the presidency. Thus, the clause on the education of the presidential candidate in our constitution must be reassessed. Even if leadership is God given and wisdom naturally acquired, a university degree is necessary.

A president should not only have wisdom an asset that develops with age from our experiences and shapes how we view the world. He must have undertaken a formal process of learning which leads to direction and proven systems of dealing with life issues affecting his people. If a president is not educated, it is difficult for a country to set sail on the road to socio-economic development.

Given this fact, we need to rise above political, tribal, regional, and other influences that canopy us from being objective when choosing a president. Antisthenes an Athenian and a pupil of Socrates said that, ‘it is wickedness of the uppermost notch for a state with many enlightened inhabitants to give ‘state leadership’ to people who are not educationally enlightened’ as this is a guaranteed method for disaster.

An educated president can help us establish clear-cut national goals and organize our country towards the achievement of these goals. This can make our socio-economic development aspirations realistic.

In all honesty, is it reasonable for people to expect development from a president when they know that he is not educated? How can such a president help people trust his point of view on national issues? Surely, in this day and age, a president must be able to intelligently engage in socio-economic and other forms of reasoning to deal with our hitches.

This aeon is one where a president must be educated to take thought and allow the appropriate implementation of encyclopaedic ideas to deal with a litany of issues affecting our country. It is not enough for a president to be surrounded by educated people. A president must be an active and independent intellectual.

We do not need ‘cimbaya-mbaya sunka muramu’ type of a president. Without being pushed like ‘cimbaya-mbaya’, a president must deliver on his promises and implement their party’s manifesto.

A president must be educated to have the capacity to engage actively in the pragmatic processes of analysing and assessing our current problems. This can allow the appropriate distribution of resources to bring socio-economic development to our people.

Illiteracy is a deficiency that is hard to fake. If a president is not educated, everyone is going to know it. Thus, a president should be a person with knowledge gained through formal processes that give us knowledge of the world around us.

It is imperative that a president must be educated. It is one orthodox way that enables leaders to develop objective and inner ‘crow’s nest’ for viewing issues affecting their people. It takes education for a president to be in touch with the 21st Century reality, build opinions, and capably interpret them rightly.

It is preposterous and outlandish to play down lessons in ‘textbooks’ and expecting to effectively govern using experience or wisdom alone. A president needs both, they are invaluable and complementary assets that make a president think cogently and interpret needs of a country objectively.

In all conscience, what does it pay to choose a president who is not educated? How can he understand, and influence thinking on how people’s problems can be engaged in and their aspirations achieved?

It is undeniable that education is instrumental in the development of national values and virtues. Presidents must be educated because education enables leaders to cultivate into mature individual, individual capable of planning for a future of a country and taking the right decisions.

In today’s global and competitive world, it is fatuous to disregard the importance of education when choosing a president. Education arms presidents with intellectual insights that guide countries.

The future of our country is only safe in the hands of educated and wise leaders. It takes education more than ‘good will’ for a president to have a national strategy to influence economic growth of a country. Without education, how can a president foster principles of equality and socialism? How can he develop strategic support systems for a country to develop? To have an uneducated president is to have a country with a weak backbone.

Our country needs an educated president to engender fecund ideas and help devise ways to find adequate answers to our current problems. It takes education for a president to know that everything has a science to it, and it is about learning to reason everything until every question meets its answer.

As long as we choose illiterate leaders, our country will never develop, never! Sir Winston Churchill once said that, ‘illiteracy is like fetters of iron, they restrain an individual’s ability to function effectively.’ An uneducated president cannot function effectively to influence the needed development.


It is unjust to society and to the uneducated president himself to be entrusted with leadership when the public knows that he does not have what it takes to be a president. If truth be told, illiteracy is a serious deficiency to the president’s effective performance. An uneducated leader is a recipe for jeopardy and a portentous factor that comes with democracy that people should guard against if we are to develop as a country.


Plato a Classical Greek philosopher once said that, ‘where education and intelligence are lacking, it is arduous to create a vision for a state.’ Therefore, it is inconceivable for a country to develop when a president is not enlightened. A country needs an educated and intelligent leader to engender a strategic vision and direction to development.


An educated president knows the importance of staying on course, and is not frozen by doubt and indecisiveness. He is comfortable in making promises and delivers on them. He does not wet his fingers in the morning and put them in the air to see which way the wind is blowing. He is ‘insightful’, and has core values and confidence cultivated through formal education.

Education is critical because it makes a president to be concerned with big issues and challenges. He consults the public and explains why certain decisions or realignments are made. It takes education for a leader to know that there has to be clarity about government’s goals, if not always clarity about the method. Education makes a president to understand that the clarity of vision does not necessarily always lend itself to clarity of direction.

It is grueling for an uneducated president to provide inspirational leadership that can direct national action for development. As a president, you cannot fake to be inspiring. The foundation of being ‘inspirational’ is education which helps to create a clear vision and effectively communicate the vision to the people.

It is incongruous for a president to think that he can inspire people if he is a liar, tribalist and regionalist, does not consult people on national issues, and does not keep his promises. How can the public be inspired when their leader is capricious or unreliable?

Let us make the university degree an eligibility criterion to run for the presidency. This is one stanch way to have presidents who are educated; able to efficaciously acquire, analyse, synthesize, evaluate, understand, and communicate knowledge and information on our country’s development.

Albert Einstein, a German-born theoretical physicist said that no problem can be solved if a leader is not able to see the world anew. It is therefore of great consequence to have a skilled and wise president able to respond to the changing and new challenges our country is facing.

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