Today, Minister of Education Ong Ye Kung announced that from this year, all graduates will receive digital certificates for N, O and A Levels, ITE qualification, diploma and degree qualifications from polytechnics, LASALLE College of the Arts (LASALLE), Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), Autonomous Universities (AUs) and the National Institute of Early Childhood Development (NIEC).
The initiative also includes Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ).
These digital certificates will be stored in the Skills Passports (found in MySkillsFuture accounts) and can be easily accessed and verified by potential employers through OpenCerts.
OpenCerts is an initiative jointly developed by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), Government Technology Agency (GovTech), Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP), and the Ministry of Education (MOE) in support of Smart Nation.
It also represents the “first time [that] blockchain technology has been harnessed for use at the national level”, and was first piloted last year by GovTech and NP.
The first batch of digital certificates was issued to NP’s graduating cohort last year.
Said Mr Clarence Ti, Principal of NP: “When we first piloted the use of blockchain for digital certificates as part of NP’s smart campus initiative, this technology in the education space was still relatively new and unexplored.”
“We are privileged to have played a pivotal role in turning this ground-up initiative into a national project. We are excited that our pilot has been a catalyst for the education sector as a whole to leverage this technology to improve work processes and make life easier for citizens.”
Upon graduation from participating institutions and schools, students will have their issued digital certificates automatically populated onto their Skills Passport, which will then serve as a single digital repository for education and training certificates.
With OpenCerts, digital certificates will also have a unique cryptographic proof embedded within them for secure verification.
Employees looking to verify the certificates will then be able to check the certificate data against its code on the blockchain for validity and to detect any signs of tampering.
“OpenCerts is another example of how the Government is harnessing technology to deliver secure and easy-to-use digital services for citizens and businesses. We see enormous potential for deploying the OpenCerts technology to develop secure and reliable certificate verification and issuance regimes in other sectors. We look forward to collaborating with industry and government agencies to develop further use-cases,” said Mr Kok Ping Soon, Chief Executive of GovTech.
Added Mr Ng Cher Pong, Chief Executive of SSG: “This is an important milestone for SSG and our partners as we continue to enable Singaporeans to take personal ownership of their skills development.”
Below is the list of participating institutions:
- Institute of Technical Education
- LASALLE College of the Arts
- Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
- Nanyang Polytechnic
- Nanyang Technological University
- National Institute of Early Childhood Development
- National University of Singapore
- Ngee Ann Polytechnic
- Republic Polytechnic
- Singapore Institute of Technology
- Singapore Polytechnic
- Singapore Management University
- Singapore University of Social Sciences
- Singapore University of Technology and Design
- Temasek Polytechnic
- Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board
- SkillsFuture Singapore
- Government Technology Agency
Featured Image Credit: National University of Singapore