Blade Nzimande walks the qualifications talk

2015-03-15 15:00

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Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande says there will be no holy cows in the government’s audit of academic qualifications.

And to prove his point, he has decided to start the audit in his own department.

Nzimande is overseeing the government’s bid to verify all public servants’ qualifications, which will result in a national database to name and shame those who have faked their matric certificates, diplomas and degrees.

His department is also mulling over suggestions that the faking of qualifications should be criminalised.

Nzimande’s spokesperson, Khaye Nkwanyana, said the minister had instructed the SA Qualifications Authority to develop the database.

“He has made a call for all departments, statutory bodies, and provincial and local government spheres to audit and verify all employee qualifications,” said Nkwanyana.

The department has also appealed to South Africa’s private sector to start auditing employee qualifications through the qualifications authority.

“Minister Nzimande is worried about the loss of integrity that [fake] certificates may generate.”

As part of its bid to stamp out faked qualifications, the department has lodged 39 cases of fraud against colleges it claims are bogus. Nkwanyana said these colleges were mostly found in big cities and “since they operate with no licences, they are offering unaccredited qualifications”.

“There are also colleges that are registered with the department and are accredited to offer certain courses, but they go behind government’s back and offer additional programmes they are not accredited to offer.”

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