Students who in 2019 sit the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) examinations will be able to access their certificates electronically in addition to the traditional paper-based certificate.
“From this March, the next batch of students will be receiving Blockcerts that will empower them with individual ownership of their official records in a digital format that is portable and easily shareable” a press statement from CXC explained, noting that after a successful trial period, it will continue to provide students with e-certificates across the region.
“While CXC will still be offering the traditional paper-based certificate, students who have registered unique and valid e-mail addresses, will now have the option to acquire their official certification through Blockcerts or blockchain based credentials as a FREE downloadable E-Certificate in a digital format,” the statement noted.
CXC E-Certificates will be offered for the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Exam (CAPE), Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC) and will be immediately available to students on their electronic devices once ready.
Registrar of the council Glenroy Cumberbatch explained that “this is the first explicitly multi-national implementation of digital credentials designed specifically to maximise cross-border employability and transferability of skills in the region.”
He added that the primary goal of the initiative was to empower students to have ownership of their records and be able to share them in a secure way, with whomever they choose.
In June 2018 CXC partnered with Learning Machine to collaborate and develop this open-source standard for blockchain based records for Caribbean students and the project was piloted last October by issuing E-Certificates to a select group of 24,000 students from Barbados and Trinidad who sat the 2018 May/June examinations and now students from across the region will be able to download their certificates conveniently, securely and quickly onto their devices, once available.
According to Kausar Samli, Learning Machine Senior Vice President of Global Services, “CXC is among an elite group of institutions that are leading the charge globally for the issuance of secure, portable, and shareable digital credentials.”
According to Cumberbatch the move is also aimed at boosting security and transferability of official examinations records and help prevent loss of official records.
“The blockchain, combined with strong cryptography, provides a new security infrastructure that guarantees the authenticity of these records and enables convenient verification,” he added noting that “students can now have their original record in their possession and control how it is used.”
“They can choose to share their CXC E-Certificate publicly, like on a social media, or send it privately by email or text message. They can even link it to their resume, public portfolio, or applications, so that people like potential employers can verify their qualifications with the click of a button” Cumberbatch explained stressing that “E-Certificates are tamper-proof and registered on the Bitcoin blockchain, so they can be shared to Colleges, University, and Clearing Houses as well.”
Once received the recipients of the E-Certificates can also independently verify it anywhere as verification only requires a mobile device or web browser.
The entire service is free to students receiving their e-credentials as well as to the colleges, university and potential employers who can now verify certificates immediately.