The Nigerian office of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), has launched its digital certificate platform for candidates to generate certificates online and to recover burnt, lost, and damaged certificates.
Certificates produced from 1999 to date are eligible for such recovery.
The platform, which involves mobile and web-based applications, was unveiled Thursday at the WAEC International Office in Lagos.
According to WAEC’s Head of National Office for Nigeria, Patrick Areghan, it will cost N7,500 for new and old candidates to assess the platform, N3,500 to share and N5,000 for certificate confirmation to “eliminate fraud and send fakers out of the market.”
He added that the platform will enable over 30 million certificate holders to “access and share the original copies of their certificates from anywhere in the world and those from 1970 to 1998 will be attended to shortly.”
Developed by Botosoft Technologies, the platform can also be used to recover candidates’ forgotten or lost examination numbers and “it has many security doors that will make it impossible to hack.”
In his welcome address, Mr Areghan reiterated the importance of technological advancement in the education sector, adding that WAEC is “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.
“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,” he said.
Benefits of digital certificate
Speaking further on the benefits of the platform, the official said “The digital certificate platform gives certificate holders the power to prevent unauthorized users from accessing their data.
“The platform is compliant with global best practices by ensuring that the data of candidates are protected securely and cannot be accessed by third parties without the consent of certificate owners.
“Individuals can now share their digital certificates from a WAEC source instantly, regardless of the person’s location. This eliminates institutional administration delays and the backlog of requests.”
Mr Areghan added that the platform also allows for bulk confirmation of certificates at once and candidates can print their digital certificates in high quality to have a physical copy.
First in Nigeria
The digital certificate platform initiated by Nigeria is the first of its kind in the examination board since its establishment in 1952.
Mr Areghan explained that Nigeria did not develop it mainly to curb examination malpractices but for technological advancement and quality service delivery.
“We talk about the massive deployment of technology. It is innovation for candidates to get their certificate 9o days after the release of results and 45 days after completing the examination.
“Things are changing. Nigeria will continue to innovate and without missing words, Nigeria is the largest member of WAEC, all other states combined are not half of Nigeria,” he said.
He boasted that “Nigeria presents over 1.6 million candidates every year, closely followed by Ghana with about 400,000 candidates. So when we are talking about innovation, then Nigeria should lead the way.”