Bill: Higher learning institutions to share certificates in public portal


Universities and other institutions of higher learning will have to start sharing academic papers with the general public if a bill proposed by Mandera South Member of Parliament (MP) Abdul Haro is passed.

The proposed Universities Amendment (no.2) of 2023 aims to establish digital databases in all educational institutions to maintain records of awarded certificates.

With this bill, Haro envisions a future where the authenticity of papers from each institution can be digitally verified by the public.

“Shall provide a database that is digital and that allows access to and verification of the authenticity of academic papers acquired from such a university, subject to the Data Protection Act,” read part of the proposed bill.

Additionally, the legislator aims to alleviate the difficult journeys that many Kenyans undertake to personally verify their academic qualifications at higher education institutions.

“The online digital certificates will come in handy during frequent university strikes, elections, and epidemics,” the MP added.

Haro assured that the proposed bill will fully respect the fundamental freedoms protected by the Constitution, ensuring that no violation occurs.

The Mandera South MP further emphasized that the implementation of this bill is unlikely to lead to any additional allocation of public funds.

The proposed law is expected to streamline the process for employers to verify the educational qualifications of potential hires, eliminating job seekers who use shortcuts to secure employment.

In the past, the Ethics Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has highlighted cases of job seekers forging academic certificates, prompting a call for increased caution among employers.

“Any university or other learning institution that may be engaged in collusion to issue academic certificates to unqualified persons, including individuals who have not undertaken or completed studies should stop doing so and strictly adhere to prescribed standards,” the commission warned in a statement.

EACC also exposed a range of tactics used by individuals in Kenya to forge certificates which involve tampering with grades and distinctions to enhance their appeal in the highly competitive job market.

By Thuita Jaswant

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