Some students forge their way to university by presenting forged academic transcripts, The New Times has learnt.
Information from Independent Institute of Lay Adventists (INILAK), a Kigali- based private university, indicates that some of the students even reach their final year undetected.
“It takes time to crosscheck their academic transcripts. We are always pre-occupied with their admission process,” Bideri N. Inshuheri, the Vice Rector in charge of academic affairs, confirmed to this newspaper last week.
“But when we verify and find they used forged academic papers to get admitted, we discontinue them”.
Bideri said about between 20 to 30 students had forged their way to the university and were subsequently fired as he cautioned other universities to be on the lookout.
“We contact their previous schools even outside the country. Some students find all sorts of excuses for not presenting their certificates until in their final year,” explains Bideri, warning that forging academic papers is a criminal act.
Prof Silas Rwakabamba, the Rector of the National University of Rwanda, (NUR), said the university has not had such cases because they had not started verifying the academic papers yet.
“We have not experienced that problem so far – but I think it is important for us, and other universities to start working with the examination council in a bid to verify students’ academic papers,” explained Rwakabamba in a telephone interview last week.
The deputy Director of Rwanda Education Board (REB), Emmanuel Muvunyi, says the body had secured a state-of-the-art machine to authenticate transcripts.
“If the universities contact us, we can check the documents using this machine. We also help verify the documents of Rwandan students wishing to study abroad if those universities want to determine the credibility of their papers,” says Muvunyi.
Alexis Ntaganirwa, an official at the Ministry of Public Service and Labour, said forging academic transcripts impacts negatively the performance of employees upon recruitment, especially in key sectors. He further challenged universities to be vigilant while admitting students.
“Even if a student completed university, but without a foundation, he cannot withstand the challenges of the workplace,” he said.