Bahamian job seekers will now be able to share and verify their educational certificates from anywhere, thus reducing bureaucracy and enhancing convenience.
This is after the Commonwealth of the Bahamas became the first country in Latin America and the Caribbean region to implement a blockchain-based nation-wide credentialing system known as Bahamas Blockcerts, according to The Nassau Guardian. Through these nationally-accredited digital certificates, the government of the Caribbean country aims to enhance how national educational qualifications including certificates, academic degrees and diplomas are created, issued, viewed and verified.
The first Bahamas Blockcert digital certificates were issued late in June by the country’s National Training Agency (NTA) to 78 participants of an initiative meant to prepare trainees for the workforce.
Collection of Digital Certificate Links
Participants of the initiative store their Bahamas Blockcert Portfolios on a mobile app and this basically consists of a collection of URLs which uniquely identify every digital certificate that an individual has earned.
Rather than requiring paper certificates all that individuals with Bahamas Blockcerts will need to do is add the website links to their resumes. These links can also be sent to potential employers who will then be able to view as well as verify the authenticity of the digital certificates. In the future, the NTA intends to issue the blockchain digital certificates for all its training courses offered to unemployed citizens as well as those adding to their skills.
Currently, the National Training Agency of the Bahamas is the only body that is issuing the blockchain digital certificates though there are plans to add 23 national agencies to the project. Some of these agencies include the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute, the Department of Inland Revenue, University of the Bahamas as well as the National Insurance Board.
Beyond Educational Certificates
In future, the Bahamas Blockcerts initiative will be expanded to other sectors to include tax compliance certificates, business licenses and other documents.
“We piloted the initiative with the NTA, but the vision is to have Bahamas Blockcerts form a core part of the government’s National Blockchain Strategy,” the minister of labor in the Bahamas, Dion Foulkes, told The Nassau Guardian. “We are talking about using the technology for citizen security, to improve the land registry and a host of other initiatives.”
As CCN has previously reported, similar initiatives in other parts of the world aimed at simplifying the verification of education certificates using blockchain have been conducted by among others the French academic institution, Leonardo da Vinci Engineering School, and the San Francisco, California-based Holberton School. In both cases, using blockchain was considered more secure, cheaper and efficient compared to traditional methods of verification.