The government has seen an increase in the amount of amount of fraudulent qualifications over the last five years.

To tackle this issue it recently passed the National Qualifications Framework Bill which aims to establish and maintain separate registers of misrepresented of fraudulent qualifications.

The number of fake qualifications raised to an all-time high during 2017 and 2018 with about 982 of these cases reported to the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

“The numbers are alarming, but they are the misrepresented qualifications we are able to detect, on average SAQA verifies over 100 000 qualifications and it’s still less than one percent of the verifications that SAQA does,” said deputy CEO of SAQA, Julie Reddy, in an interview with ENCA.

Managed Integrity Evaluation (MIE) has verified over 520 000 qualifications this year and from that 13 percent were misrepresented qualifications,” adds Jennifer Barkhuizen from MIE, in the same ENCA interview.

One of the institutions where this pandemic was exposed was the University of Zululand, which has seen one of its staff members being killed after identifying a fraudulent scheme to produce PhD graduates. The dean of the faculty of arts Professor Gregory Kamwedo was shot and killed outside his home earlier this year.

As for the bill it would further provide for a separate register for professional designations, the referral of qualifications or part-qualifications to SAQA for verification and evaluation as well as offences and penalties which have a bearing on fraudulent qualifications.

“Companies should go through background screening process to make sure that prospective employees are who they say they are and they qualify to do the job at hand,” concludes Bakhuizen.

[Source – ENCA] [Image – CC O Pixabay]