A Blockchain-based Conceptual Model to Address Educational Certificate Verification Challenges in Tanzania
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The proliferation of counterfeit educational certificates is an ongoing issue around the world, including Tanzania. The effect of this malpractice is detrimental to the credibility of education. Traditional strategies to prevent fake certificates are abortive, calling for a more sophisticated approach. Blockchain technology has recently emerged as an ideal solution to this problem due to its inherent attributes that ensure disintermediation, immutability, tamper proof, anonymity, transparency, consensus, security, and trust. However, most existing blockchain-based solutions lack crucial functionalities that are pertinent to the Tanzanian education system. This study unveiled the challenges faced by the current verification system in Tanzania and proposed a blockchain-based conceptual model to address them. The proposed model is based on blockchain, smart contracts, and the Interplanetary File System (IPFS). Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to investigate certification problems in Tanzania and modeling techniques were used to construct the conceptual model. The findings showed that the main challenges of the current verification system emanate from manual procedures, unverifiable credentials, susceptibility of centralized storage systems, disintegrated verification systems, revocation problems, difficulties in communication, and high dependency on the issuers. These challenges undermine certificate verification, impose a significant setback in the fight against forgeries, and create loopholes for forgeries to persist. It was conceptually demonstrated that these issues can be resolved through the proposed blockchain-based solution.