Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has come out guns blazing against individuals with counterfeit certificates yet holding public offices in the Country.
The culprits have been put on notice in a quest to counter the upsurge in fake academic credentials in the said offices.
Speaking before the Parliamentary Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee on July 27, 2023 EACC Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdi Mohamud said that academic fraud has become a threat to the integrity of the country’s education system.
He said the academic fraud is perpetrated both in the national and county governments according to the reports received and investigations undertaken so far.
“Some of the suspects probed were found to have altered their high school grades on their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) Certificates in order to ‘attain’ the requisite qualifications for gaining entry into the universities or other higher learning institutions.” He said
He added that the second category is that of persons who get admissions to university programs but for unknown reasons fail to complete their studies and then forge degree or diploma certificates to secure employment.
The third category is that of individuals who enroll for university programs, complete their studies, and graduate but alter their degree/diploma classification for example from Second Class Lower Division to First Class or Second Class Upper Division.
The other category he said was of those who never undertake any post-secondary education but forge degree or diploma certificates to use in securing employment and/or admission for postgraduate courses such as Master’s degrees.
EACC also raised an alarm over those impersonation on academic certificates to either apply for admission to higher learning institutions or seek employment as though they were the persons named on the certificates.
“This is where the fraudsters use qualifications belonging to other persons,” EACC said, further blaming employers for the upsurge in the menace.
“Employers, just like universities and colleges, bear significant blame for the menace of forgery of academic certificates in public service. Some workers secure employment, promotions, or university admissions using fake certificates with the full knowledge and/or support of their employers or the universities, as the case may be.”
At the same time, EACC asked the employers and learning institutions to play a pivotal role in putting an end the academic fraud in the country.
“Employers should always undertake sufficient background checks on the academic certificates submitted by job candidates to authenticate the same with the issuing institutions.
Further, job adverts should require applicants to have their academic certificates certified by issuing institutions,” EACC said.
“Universities and colleges should play a proactive role by establishing strong internal controls that would enable early detection of fake academic certificates submitted by prospective students seeking admission for undergraduate, postgraduate, or other courses.” He said
The parliamentary committee had invited the Commission to provide a progress report on the discharge of its mandate of fighting corruption and promotion of ethics in Kenya.
By Vostine Ratemo
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