Amidst the epidemic of forged certificates, Education Minister Badr Al-Essa wrote to all government entities to account for all holders of forged and bogus university certificates issued by unaccredited universities and also ordered the formation of an investigation committee at the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training for the same purpose, and this received parliamentary support as well as those of patriotic spirit who fight corruption in general, and educational corruption in particular, in fear for Kuwait’s future.
The Director General of the National Agency for Academic Accreditation and Education Quality Dr Nouriya Al-Awadhi announced strict measures to face the issue of forged and bogus university certificates, and among these measures are standards and rules to compact this destructive phenomenon. The gravity of the matter prompted the signing of a Gulf agreement to limit forged certificates in higher education. She also said that the agency approves certificates of universities that adopt the regular attendance system only, and it is stipulated that the specialties programs level presented by the universities be outstanding compared with approved international standardization lists, to prevent obtaining any forged certificates.
And because the issue is a national project to build the nation and an inevitable necessity for the future, there is an intention by the minister to form an investigation panel at Kuwait University that is similar to the investigation committee formed at the PAAET to investigate certificates of professors and make sure about their credibility to uphold those legitimate and discard forged ones, besides following up the procedures and bases of some professors who have received masters and PhD degrees from credible universities.
When the education minister ordered investigations in the forged certificates phenomenon, and opened the issue at the PAAET, he relied on evidence of having 20 professors with forged certificates, while others got leadership positions while having unrecognized and unapproved certificates, which warranted their referral to the judiciary. The Audit Bureau reported that the authority appointed professors with forged certificates from Athens University, in violation of the ministerial decision to first approve their certificates before allowing their holders to work.
The evidence of this phenomenon and its deep roots in the soil of our higher education is the statement of MP Faisal Al-Shaye to Al-Shahid newspaper about the discovery of 200 forged certificates that belong to the PAAET, adding that he presented a parliamentary question in the 1999 and 2006 parliaments about the bogus certificates and how are they gained without “study leaves”, and that his two attempts failed in getting an answer, so he resubmitted the question again in 2014 Assembly to the state minister for cabinet affairs, so he got an answer that says there are 5,768 certificates whose holders received them without applying for study leave.
Here, we can raise all what we want of question marks: If it is stipulated for those sent by PAAET on scholarships to be regular in physical attendance, and not by correspondence, and that they join accredited universities by the authority, then who gave the PAAET the authority to approve certificates that are in violation of this condition? Is not this a destruction of the entire society’s future? — Translated by Kuwait Times
By Prof Maasouma A Ibrahim