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Coming soon: System to nab certificate cheats

By Fredrick Oginga | Published Thu, October 11th 2018 at 09:53, Updated October 11th 2018 at 09:58 GMT +3

Kenya National Qualification Authority Chairman Prof. Bonaventure Kerre and Principal Secretary State Department of Vocational Training Ministry of Education Dinah Mwinzi

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NAIROBI, KENYA: It will soon be easy to catch cheats trying to secure employment using fake certificates.

This follows plans by the Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) to establish an online database with information on all graduates from various institutions of higher learning in the country.

Over the past few years, use of fake academic credentials to secure employment has been on the rise, with many universities being accused of dishing out certificates without requiring individuals to complete required academic programmes. Some have been accused of enhancing marks for weak students.

The Federation of Kenya Employers has been on the neck of institutions of higher learning, blaming them of churning out graduates who don’t match the expectations of employers.

Bonaventure Kerre, the chairperson of KNQA says the database will enhance credibility of degree certificates issued by local universities.

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The platform was supposed to be launched in July this year, but was delayed by a lack of funds.

“We are looking for donors to help fund the initiative, which will allow employers to access academic information on graduates with a single click,” says Prof Kerre.

He says universities will be given two years to put their primary data on the platform.

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The platform will accommodate all disciplines and qualifications. “We will be keen on credit hours and shall ensure that institutions follow the laid out rules,” he says, adding the move will prevent cases where a diploma course take six months in one institution and three years in another institution.

The authority has, however. not disclosed the cost of establishing the platform, which will help solve several fake certificate cases lodged by a number of politicians. South Africa spent about Sh1.1 billion to set up a similar platform.

“The Treasury has allocated some money for this initiative and promised to add more funds,” says Prof Kerre.

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