26 institutions join KNQA's war on fake certificates

Kenya National Qualifications CEO, Alice Kande. [Erastus Mulwa, Standard]

Some 26 institutions have been approved to upload records of their former graduates in the qualification agency database in the fight against fake certificates.

Data obtained by The Standard reveals that approximately 2,000 programs offered by these 26 institutions have received the green light from the Kenya National Qualification Authority (KNQA).

The 26 include two universities and 24 other mid-level and technical colleges. Polytechnics, in particular, have taken the lead in gaining approval from the qualification agency.

This group includes institutions like the Nyeri National Polytechnic, Meru National Polytechnic, Kenya Coast National Polytechnic, Kisii National Polytechnic, Sigalagala National Polytechnic, Eldoret National Polytechnic, Kisumu National Polytechnic, and Kitale National Polytechnic.

On the other hand, two universities have successfully navigated the rigorous qualification process—Mount Kenya University and Meru University of Science and Technology.

These universities are now among the select few institutions with the authority to upload their graduates' records.

Under Kenyan law, the KNQA is mandated to register qualifications in its database.

However, Dr. Alice Kande, the KNQA acting Director-General pointed out that the verification of qualifications has been progressing at a slow pace.

She attributed the delay to the intricate verification process and emphasized the need for more capacity-building and awareness efforts to ensure institutions conform to the registration of their qualifications.

"To date, we have registered over 30 institutions and more than 2,000 qualifications. We are moving forward to educate institutions on the necessary steps they need to take, as the registration process is quite comprehensive, and all the criteria must be met," said Dr. Kande.

She made the remarks during the second day of the African Continental Qualification Framework event on Tuesday.

Other verified institutions include the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital College of Health Science, Kenya Medical Training College, Kenya Red Cross, Kenya School of Government, Bandari Maritime Academy, Kenya Institute of Supplies Examination Board, Human Resource Management Professional Examination Board.

Kenya Accountants and Secretaries National Examination Board (KASNEB), Kenya School of Revenue Administration, TVET Curriculum Development Assessment and Certification Council, and the National Industrial Training Authority.

Dr. Kande also said that the qualification verification process will extend to those obtained from institutions outside Kenya.

“We also deal with foreign institutions. If a person has pursued a course from another country and wants to come and join a local institution then we must first ensure authenticity of that qualification, checking credibility of the institution that one pursued,” Kande said.

KNQA employs a stringent criteria checklist to verify institutions, including a legal mandate authorizing them to conduct examinations and certification.

Institutions also need the approval of sub-sector regulators such as the Commission of University Education for universities and TVETA for technical colleges and approval by requisite professional bodies where applicable.

For foreign institutions, proof of registration from their country of origin and certification of incorporation in Kenya are essential requirements.

Principal Secretary, Esther Muoria, voiced her support for the initiative during a three-day workshop on the African Continental Qualification Framework.

She highlighted the program's aim to rectify skills and competencies mismatches and ensure that qualifications align with industry needs, thereby offering clear progression pathways between qualifications.

This initiative, she explained, seeks to address various issues within the education system, including inconsistencies, bottlenecks, and fake degrees, ultimately promoting transparency and the recognition of genuine qualifications.