US trained cyber security expert Pius Odhiambo proposes e-verification of degrees on e-citizen
In the wake of the the ongoing debate in Kenya about fake university degrees by politicians seeking clearance to run for public office, Mr. Pius Odhiambo says his solution will make it easier to verify academic credentials.
According to Pius who is a PhD Computer science student at Bowie State University, the ongoing debate is a wake up call for the Kenyan government to embrace technology to protect the integrity of Kenya’s academic standards and qualifications.
Pius proposes a legislation that will establish a verification portal to be domiciled in e-citizen to provide immediate authentication of all certificates whenever required by employers or clearing agencies.
The new law will require all schools, public & private universities and tertiary colleges to upload the details of all students graduating including digital copies of their degree certificates into the national / regional degree database.
Employers and other organizations like IEBC, DCI , Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission can then subscribe to the database at a small fee. Whenever one applies for a job, it will no longer necessary to attach a copy of academic certifications because the agencies will just need to key in the applicant’s ID or Huduma Number Names, and date of birth to verify the person’s credentials remotely through a centralised national / regional database system called e-verify.
Pius says the degree scandals is a creation of the Kenyan government because the government has the ability to embrace technology driven digital solutions instead of the current CUE recognition letters which can be manipulated through corruption and cronyism.
He says the government of Kenya needs to protect Kenyans who have spent huge amounts time and money to acquire genuine university degrees and certificates. Unfortunately he says the current law makers some of whom are the beneficiaries of fake degrees racket may be unwilling to pass a legislation in parliament for the establishment of a national or regional academic certification database as is the case in the developed world.
He says such a proposal can be adopted in the manifestos of the current presidential candidates for implementation once they come to power and adds such initiatives can lead to creation of alot of job opportunities in the digital space.
Pius has called upon the next government to give a chance to Kenyans in the diaspora to help with setting up such systems widely used by developed countries to validate academic credentials.
He gives the example of the East African passport that allows passport holders to travel to member countries without a visa and says the same can be applied in the creation of a Regional Database for verififcation of University degrees in the East Africa Community member states.
Pius says those with foreign universities’ degrees, will be required to contact the Commission for University Education to enter their degrees in the database if they plan to work in Kenya or East Africa to avoid cross border forgery of academic degrees and certificates.
Pius is available for consultation and can be reached on email firstname.lastname@example.org
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