Blockchain technology will soon render the fake degree menace a thing of the past. (Pic - Pixabay)
NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 8- Education is the equalizer, goes the saying, a key for opportunities but not easy coming; one has to work for it.
In Kenya, just like it is the case across all parts of the world, one may not need to 'punish' himself through the normal learning process.
An April 12, 2016 raid by Kenyan authorities in Nairobi downtown exposed a syndicate involved in printing all manner of documents, among them education certificates.
With about Ksh20,000, police nabbed documents that revealed some crooked Kenyans had acquired documents to apply for a job, some as sensitive as clinical medicine.
Certificates are acquired without requiring one to step into a classroom. Students with bad grades can also 'clean, their weaker grades by having their marks enhanced.
This confirmed the Federation of Employers' in Kenya consistent fear that some employees had used fake certificates, evidently revealed by the quality of their work; garbage in, garbage out.
This is not a unique situation in Kenya since for example in 2017, a study in the UK, exposed more than 190 bogus universities offering fake degree certificates.
But is it all lost?
Blockchain technology will soon render this menace a thing of the past. Blockchain, which acts as a digital ledger of all transactions across a peer-to-peer network, is an unalterable and incorruptible audit trail.
While the blockchain itself is publicly available, its records or “blocks” are secured. Since every certificate logged as a transaction on the blockchain network becomes part of the blockchain, counterfeiting a certificate becomes impossible.
Titus Kaswii, Chief Technical Officer of Safesoko acknowledges that a decentralized system will bring sanity to the professional arena.
"When a certificate is issued, it is assigned a unique digital signature which is computed using publicly available algorithms. We will embed unique QR codes, with full personal information and degree course undertaken, such that when an employer or anyone wants to verify any certificate, they just need to scan it and the holder's name, the course, grades and year of completion will be shown," Kaswii asserts.
This means that an employer will easily trace any anomalies and weed out all fake diplomas.
Blockchain technology is the future of certification. It is believed that in the following years, more schools will use the technology to secure their certificates.
Early this year Kenya ICT ministry with the direction from President Uhuru Kenyatta formed a task force to look into how government can reap from the blockchain technology
"It's true that the previous Industrial Revolutions have passed us by. This time however it is my hope that the 4th Industrial revolution driven by digital transformation will not leave Africa behind," President Kenyatta pointed out