By John Ikani
Education authorities in South Sudan have described as worrying, the discovery of at least 500 fake academic certificates.
The certificates were purportedly awarded by foreign institutions, Higher Education Minister Gabriel Changson Chang said, a finding he said undermined the country’s education.
He said the government was working with learning institutions, including secondary schools, to stamp out the practice.
“This year alone, we detected 15 false certificates from our secondary schools,” Mr Changson said.
He added that the country lacked special equipment to effectively deal with the problem.
In June, the Labour and Public Service Ministry said 400 state officials were found to have fake credentials – including PhDs – mainly from neighbouring countries.
Although the government promised to publish the list of these individuals who were said to be on its payroll and prosecute them, it has not done so.
According to the South Sudan Penal Code, forgery is an offence, and upon conviction, the accused is sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years and may also be liable to a fine.