The verification process of educational credentials in the Caribbean will now be faster after the regional examinations body announced it will begin offering blockchain-based certificates and diplomas to selected candidates.
In a statement, the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) revealed that it will issue blockchain-based academic certificates starting October 31, alongside the traditional paper-based certificates, to 24,000 candidates who sat their exams in May and June this year. This number consists of the candidates who provided the examinations body with their email addresses.
The e-certificates will be received via the free and open-source Blockcerts Wallet which is not only used for storing and sharing but also verifying the performance of candidates in examinations administered by the Caribbean Examinations Council.
Member Countries and Territories
Currently, the examining body offers educational certifications to 16 English-speaking countries and territories in the Caribbean region, namely Barbados, Jamaica, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Trinidad & Tobago, Belize, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Guyana, and Turks & Caicos Islands.
By issuing the educational certifications as Blockcerts, the examining body is safeguarding against loss in the event of natural disasters, which are common in the region, occurring. It will also be faster and more convenient for other institutions and employers seeking to verify a candidate’s qualifications.
Issuing of the Blockcerts will be done using the federated issuing system of the Learning Machine which is an enterprise platform designed for multinationals as well as countries that need to digitize the issuance as well as verification of official records.
According to the business development vice president of Learning machine, Natalie Smolenski, the blockchain-based educational certifications which will be issued to the 24,000 candidates will be especially convenient as they move within the Caribbean region for study and work purposes:
“Having easily shareable, portable electronic credentials can speed up a verification process that usually takes weeks or months into a matter of seconds. This is a win/win for both issuing institutions and Caribbean citizens.”
Commonwealth of the Bahamas
In the wider Caribbean region, the countries and territories that are members of the CXC are, however, not the first to adopt a blockchain-based educational credentialing system. As CCN reported in August, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, which is not a member of the CXC, has also introduced nationally-accredited digital certificates known as Bahamas Blockcerts aimed at enhancing the creation, issuance, viewing and verification of national educational certifications.
The pioneering Bahamas Blockcert digital certificates were issued by the country’s National Training Agency in June to 78 candidates. The move was a first for both South America and the Caribbean region