Fight against fraud: Higher Education uncovers 2 fake certificates
-Over 1500 fake certificates dictated since 1993
By Theodore M. Ndze
Two fake certificates have been detected and 10 other rejected at the Ministry of Higher Education by the National Evaluation Commission for Training Domains Offered Abroad. Meeting in its 81st session September 28, 2016 in Yaoundé, the session presided over by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Higher Education, Prof. Ngomo Horace Manga, representing the Minister of Higher Education, Prof. Jacques Fame Ndongo examined 290 files and found two wanting, all of them Baccalureat Certificates.
While opening the 81st session at the conference hall of the Higher Teachers Training College (ENS), Prof. Ngomo Horace told commission members to be objective and exercise fair play as they carry out their arduous task of authentication. He noted that equivalencies obtained abroad are not in any way inferior or superior to national certificates.
“These are degrees in the true and full sense of the term, which must be simple to match a fair, honest and equalvalue,” said SG Prof. Ngomo.
Speaking to the press, one of the commission members, Prof. Wilfred Nyonbet Gabsa, Director of the Coordination of Academic Affairs at MINESUP, said work for the evaluation of the 290 certificates was carried out by three technical sub-committees as follows: Technical and professional degrees, academic degrees and diplomas in general education. He said the experts spent time combing all the scrolls obtained in some 45 foreign countries by Cameroonian students to authenticate and find their equivalence in the Cameroonian university system.
He said the biggest problem they face is the speed with which foreign institutions do reply to Minister’s correspondences which greatly hinder their work. Another problem he noted is follow-up, i.e. going abroad to verify the authenticity of the certificates.
Prof. Gabsa disclosed that since the National Evaluation Commission For Training Domains Offered Abroad was set up in 1993, over 1500 fake certificates have been detected and usually this happens when the Minister sends a team out for authentication.
Regarding the main criteria for which the equivalences are done, Prof. Gabsa noted that firstly, the NEC authenticates the certificate whether it is valid or invalid, Secondly it gives the certificate a level in respect to Cameroon’s qualifications and academic entitlements and thirdly it recognises the institution from which the candidate obtained the certificate.
“What we have to note here is that it is an obligation. That is what the text prescribes for you to use your foreign certificate in Cameroon whether a foreigner or national, you have to apply for equivalence from the country for it to be recognised and we give a level for your certificate.”
To note that during the 80th session of the Commission, the first for 2016 personally chaired by the Minister of Higher Education assisted by his colleague of Public Service and Administrative Reforms, Michel Ange Angouing, nine fake diplomas were spotted out of the 273 examined.
NEC for which the Minister of Higher Education, Chancellor of Academic Orders Prof. Jacques Fame Ndongo is Chairman and the Minister Public Service and Administrative Reforms, Vice Chairman is an inter-ministerial forum that makes proposals on equivalences between foreign and national certificates, academic title and grades as well as on the recognition of foreign institutions whose certificates can lead to the integration, reclassification or advancement of civil servants of the various corps of the Cameroonian civil service in keeping with the rules and regulations that apply.