Starting this year, graduates from local schools in Singapore will receive their diplomas and certificates digitally. The country’s Education Minister Ong Ye Kung recently announced the news.
Digital certificates for educational qualifications in Singapore will soon be recorded on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain. Education Minister Ong Ye Kung unveiled the news on May 3rd in a formal announcement. The new national initiative will involve OpenCerts, an Ethereum-based platform for authenticating documents for educators, students, and employers.
The initiative was a joint effort by multiple state agencies and organizations including the Government Technology Agency, Ministry of Education, SkillsFuture Singapore, and Ngee Ann Polytechnic.
Education Meets Blockchain
This news marks the first time a government has adopted blockchain technology for such an ambitious project in education.
The change will go into effect this year. All students graduating with N-, O-, or A- Level certificates will now have their scholastic achievements recorded via the OpenCerts platform. Other students graduating from polytechnics, autonomous universities, LASALLE College of the Arts, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, and the National Institute for Early Childhood Development will also have their certificates recorded.
Each digital certificate will have a unique cryptographic identity. Through the MySkillsFuture platform, students can access their documents. Singapore is also aiming to digitize previously-awarded documents through the same program in the future.
The move will go a long way towards reducing administrative bloating and simplify the entire process. Local schools will find themselves spending less on verifying and issuing documents since it no longer needs to be done manually. Institutions, employers, and schools can now easily verify digital certificates through the OpenCerts platform.
Using Blockchain in a Practical Way
Education Minister Ong Ye Kung praised the move as a clear example of blockchain technology used in an everyday, practical way.
OpenCerts thus resolves a productivity issue within the bureaucracy. It’s also one of the most ambitious uses of the Ethereum blockchain, on which OpenCerts is based. Although verifying documents only requires the OpenCerts platform, the news indicates that Ethereum is becoming more and more trusted as a decentralized repository of official documentation.
With the blockchain-based digitization of certificates, Singapore hopes to position itself as the leading technocratic society in not only in Asia — but the entire world.
The new initiative is part of the country’s ‘Smart Nation’ journey and may serve as a case study for other nations looking to better streamline their school systems.
Will other states follow Singapore’s lead in adopting blockchain technology? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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