Malaysia’s Ministry of Education (MoE) has launched a platform to utilize blockchain technology in tackling the incidence of fake degree certificates in its education system.
In its official announcement, the Ministry stated it was collaborating with six (6) Malaysian universities to launch a blockchain-based platform for the issuance and verification of university degrees.
The blockchain-based degree verification platform called E-Scroll, was necessitated by the current proliferation of fake degrees and ease of obtaining falsified academic qualifications over the internet.
While intimating on this development, the MoE quoted a report credited to BBC Radio stating that thousands of individuals including UK nationals were prepared to pay up to half a million pounds for fake educational documents; a scenario which is also predominantly obtainable in Malaysia and allows these individuals get jobs and join the work force without genuine qualifications.
The proposed blockchain-based academic verification system was first introduced by the country’s Council of ICT Deans in a bid to improve efficiency, security and ensure due process for documents verification. Subsequently by extension, it aims at restoring integrity to Malaysian universities and their education process.
At this time, Malaysian universities are said to receive reoccurring requests globally to verify their graduates; with the current verification process done via telephone calls and email correspondence which are both largely inefficient.
Explaining its functionality, the E-Scroll system as developed by a team from the International Islamic University (IIUM), will store the certificate data on the NEM blockchain and provide an online verification within seconds from anywhere in the world; after the QR code printed on genuine degree certificates is scanned.
First participants of this system will be PhD students graduating from IIUM on November 10, with their respective certificates stored in the system. The ministry has also encouraged other universities to join in the process to eradicate degree fraud.
On a final note, the ministry explained its choice of the NEM blockchain stating: “Although such a system can be built using other blockchains, NEM was chosen due to its unique features in managing traceability and authentication requirements.”
The MoE also reassured of its support for further studies and projects based on blockchain technology.
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