Matric certificates aim to make forgers fail

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Durban - This year’s

Grade 12 class will be the first to receive report cards and matric certificates with features designed to prevent forgery.

Although exams watchdog Umalusi launched certificates with better security features earlier this year, the Basic Education Department has decided that each pupil’s statement of results, which it releases, also needs tweaking to prevent replication by fraudsters.

The new statement of results, which pupils receive from their schools while waiting for Umalusi to issue their certificates, will bear a unique serial number and a watermark of the national coat of arms.

The certificates, which become available in June or July, replace the statement of results.

Apart from a barcode, each certificate will have several security features:

* An Umalusi watermark.

* The word “Umalusi” in fine print all along the border.

* The national coat of arms at the top, and the Umalusi logo at the bottom.

* A certificate sequence number, starting in a small font size and becoming larger.

* A rectangular block with the matriculant’s personal information given in the background.

The improved security measures were prompted by what Umalusi called “widespread fraud, counterfeiting and sale of fake certificates”.

Earlier this year it emerged that 50 students at the University of Venda had gained admission by using bogus Grade 12 certificates.

Soon after, Unisa spokesman Martin Ramotshela was quoted as saying that most of the fake Grade 12 certificates were from KwaZulu-Natal.

He said that 94 cases of qualifications fraud had been prosecuted in the past three years.

The Mercury


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