The problem of fake certificates is a global issue

The paper that is a ‘certificate’ is so invaluable that it is making men and women go to all lengths to obtain it. Good. Isn’t it?
Zachariah Mayaka Nyamosi
Zachariah Mayaka Nyamosi

The paper that is a ‘certificate’ is so invaluable that it is making men and women go to all lengths to obtain it. Good. Isn’t it? You probably drive the kind of car that you drive because the inscription on the degree or diploma certificate pronounced you fit to hold the job you are doing. If you don’t have a job yet, you must be moving around with several notified certificates and your CV to try your luck.

While the first qualification for any appointment remains the qualification emblazoned any of the certificates that may be needed, the big question remains; how many of the certificates in circulation in the labour market are genuine?

The current economic turmoil round the world has cast a shadow on those struggling to make ends meet. While some certificate holders wallow in poverty, they have found themselves yoked with the lazy and the opportunists in the struggle to survive. Getting fake papers has become a ‘justified immoral overture’ for survival.

If you fly to the UK today and come back with a bachelor’s or master’s degree, we are likely to give you a standing ovation for the great achievement. Elsewhere, coming from the West alone grants you an open cheque to go to the bank with.

A reasonable  number of certificates in the labour market are either forged or from fake institutions of higher learning. You can take this to the bank.

In a span of three months, a degree verification system that was launched in June this year unearthed 130 UK universities and colleges. The Higher Education Data Check (HEDD) aims to tackle the problem of degree fraud by enabling employers to easily verify candidate qualifications online.

It is amazing that such a huge number of universities and colleges were incorrectly claiming to award UK degrees. The Times Higher Education reported that more ‘degree mills’ are being discovered weekly.

The chief executive officer of HDD, Mike Hill noted that the wider issue of degree fraud was unlikely to diminish unless a solution was developed that would not only address the problem but also ease the administrative burden, simplify the verification process and reducing the cost.

Rwanda has a system of verifying certificates that is popularly known as ‘notaire.’ What is not clear is its ability to detect certificates from nonexistent higher education institutions and those that are manufactured. The good side of this is that at least the system is there and a good number of employers and education institutions demand copies of certificates with the Notaire’s stamp.

What needs to be done is to beef up the ‘notaire’ system to make it more airtight so that cases of fake certificates in the local labour market become a thing of the past.

If unchecked, the forgery will bog down and even botch our painstakingly made strides towards economic and social opulence.


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