Hubs of several individuals claiming to be holders of terminal degrees from creditable foreign-based institutions have been discovered in Monrovia.Most of those in the web have reportedly been transitioning from one institution of higher learning in the country to other entities of substance.Those masquerading (cloaking, passing themselves off) with fake academic credentials were recently discovered to be mainly based in Monrovia, gainfully employed with various ministries, agencies and institutions of higher learning.Among the reported intellectual fraudsters were those destined for Gbarnga, Bong County, where the Cuttington University (CU) is said to be ripe for employment.Following the recent discovery of the ring of academic ‘fraudsters,’ it is being reported that among those involved are some highly placed officials, who should soon face investigation. The pending investigation is expected to be led by authorities at the National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE) and other stakeholders to include personnel from the Ministry of Justice (MOJ).According to documents in possession of the Daily Observer, some of the suspected academic ‘fraudsters’ have for many years, been misleading the public about their so-called academic achievements.Copies of some of the fake credentials in possession of this paper contain information highly inconsistent, contestable and debatable. For example, photo-copies of the ‘To Whom It May Concern,’ terminal degree of one of the academic fraudsters carries a different metric number against a purported transcript with a conflicting metric number.In another case, the date of graduation on one set of documents dating back to 2008 differs from the document’s transcript, dated 2005. Most of the documents involved are from ‘universities’ in Nigeria. “These are some of the most sharp contrasts in the academic industry especially with intellectual property that must be well-arranged and structured,” one highly placed source in the country’s education sector observed.Additionally, one of the fakers, now gainfully employed with a Liberian-based entity, made his getaway after he reportedly submitted ‘fake credentials’ with misspelt words and poor grammar on the purported degree.Apparently, the board of interviewers missed a gross misspelling of ‘Columbia,’ printed on the submitted terminal degree; or did the Board decide to turn a blind eye?Our investigation discovered that one fraudster claimed that his documents had been issued by Columbia University, based in the Washington District of the United States of America. Columbia University is actually based in New York.The documents of another fraudster contained two different spellings of the name of the same ‘graduate’ who claimed to be in possession of a terminal degree in education.Our investigation has further discovered that most of those involved with such academic fraud are acquainted with each other.The universities from which some of the individuals claimed to have graduated cannot be found online; when found, their names are never on the listing of any of the graduating classes.With this latest development in the educational sector of the country, both the Ministry of Education (MOE) and NCHE have promised to conduct separate investigations into the alleged academic scams.MOE’s director of communications, J. Maxime Bleetahn, confirmed the information on the fraudulent activities in the sector.He told this paper via mobile phone over the weekend that the Ministry will not take the allegations lightly because those acts are some of the academic frauds that have besmeared the country’s educational system.The discovery of people with false intellectual credentials was made recently following the discovery of one Ndien Peters with false credentials while serving as vice president for academic affairs at the St. Clements University. This situation compelled the NCHE to order the institution closed on grounds that it had employed an academic fraudster.Another incident included the recent exposure of a ‘fake’ degree granting institution—CUSWORTH International Business School— based somewhere in Fiama, Monrovia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
As part of the efforts to connect skills with education, the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) in Rajasthan will be modernised for facilitating their role in addressing the needs of industry by evolving expertise in different sectors. In addition to the traditional training modules, skill studies are being promoted among the ITI students to provide them a better exposure.Experts and State government officials deliberated on the strategies to improve skills and entrepreneurship at a conclave of ITI principals held at the Bhartiya Skill Development University (BSDU), which practises Swiss dual system of education by blending real time industry exposure with world-class machinery in its curriculum, here earlier this week.Academic and industrial experts laid emphasis on equipping the youth with the necessary skills and education to help create an “employment-ready workforce” for industry in the future. “While studying for a graduation degree, the training in different skills will open up new possibilities for career growth,” BSDU president Surjit Singh Pabla said.The participants in the conclave, including 300 ITI principals from across the State, threw light on the scope for giving academic facilities and practical exposure to the ITI students. The trainees, who will be given pre-admission in BSDU during their study in ITIs, will learn new traits from Swiss trainers through a curriculum designed by industry experts.‘Expand curriculum’Rajasthan Skill and Livelihoods Development Corporation’s Managing Director Samit Sharma said the ITIs should expand their curriculum and make productive use of facilities offered by other institutions. State Skill, Employment & Entrepreneurship Secretary Naveen Jain said modernisation would improve infrastructure of ITIs and motivate the students to keep innovating and think of new ideas.The Swiss dual system was highlighted at the conclave as a unique concept with the focus on customised practical industrial training along with theoretical knowledge.