October 21, (THEWILL) – The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has launched a digital certificate platform, aimed to reduce the cost of accessing and retrieving certificates of students.
The Head, WAEC National Office Nigeria, Patrick Areghan, explained that the digital certificate is the electronic version of an academic or physical paper certificate which has numerous advantages.
He said certificates from 1999 to date are ready and available on the platform.
Areghan, while highlighting the benefits, maintained that the digital certificate platform would give certificate holders the power to prevent unauthorised users from accessing their data.
“The development of the new digital certificate platform is in line with WAEC’s continuous record of meeting global needs, by using cutting-edge technology to improve candidates’ experiences as they seek to continue their education.
“We are evolving to meet the demands of a changing world. We have migrated from physical registration of candidates to online registration; online verification of results and online result printouts and more.
“Their mobility is of utmost importance to the West African Examinations Council.
“Today, we live in a digital world, where instant satisfaction and accessibility are the ultimate. The process of receiving, retrieving, sharing, verifying or confirming academic certificates is rather cumbersome and moribund.
“The whole process is costly and could be frustrating, and the only answer can be found in Digital Certificates. Today, we are here to witness a revolution in the assessment and certification industry,” he said.
“The platform is compliant with global best practices by ensuring that the data of candidates are protected securely and cannot be accessed by the parties without the consent of certificate owners.
“Institutions and organisations can confirm with ease the reliability and authenticity of individuals’ certificates on the digital certificates platform.
“This eliminates fraud and will send unscrupulous persons out of the market. It has many security doors that make it possible to hack.
“Also, universities, institutions and organisations can enjoy a seamless, secure, and fast confirmation process with the digital platform. It also allows for bulk confirmation of certificates at once. This saves valuable admission costs and time”, Areghan added.
The council boss noted that since the commencement of assessment by the examination body, certificates had been issued to represent students’ performance in examinations.
He said that such certificates helped them to advance their educational development or get involved in the world of work.
“So, for centuries, academic certificates have been issued as physical paper certificates. This is the traditional certificate”, Areghan noted.
Listing some of the benefits of the digital certificate platform, the HNO said that candidates would no longer share photocopies of their certificates with institutions and organisations.
He stated that they would rather access and share copies of their original certificates, delivered straight from the WAEC database, noting that these records would instantly be confirmed and validated.
According to him, candidates or other certificate owners would however have to pay a ‘token for the various services they apply for on the platform.
“For instance, with the new platform, if a candidate wants to do just confirmation of result, he would just have to pay N5,000 as against the N60,000 that was charged for the same service before now.
“If it is for attestation of results, it will attract just N7,500 and if it is just sharing of the result, it is N3,500″, Areghan said.
According to him, the entire process is not about making money, but rather, a sort of council’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
He said that it was about giving back to the society, adding that it was a total package, a one-stop shop for access and validation of certificates.
Speaking further on the gains of the technology, Areghan noted that with the development, issues of result alteration would cease to exist.
According to him, it has also solved the problem of delay, doubt and faking, adding that candidates can access and share their result at any time and to any location around the globe.
“Individuals can now share their digital certificates from a WAEC source instantly, regardless of the person’s location.
“This eliminates institutional administration delays and backlog of requests. it provides instant verification and credibility”, he said.
Areghan assured that the platform is well secured and safe from hackers.