Malta is the first country to launch a blockchain initiative which will see it issue notarised blockchain certificates to complement paper certificates for professional and informal education, the government announced today.
A memorandum of understanding on the first government initiative involving blockchain technology was signed today by the Ministry for Education and Employment and the multi-national company Learning Machine.
The signing of the MoU was witnessed by education minister Evarist Bartolo and parliamentary secretary for the digital economy and innovation Silvio Schembri.
The government has vowed to embrace blockchain technology and to be a market leader in its implementation in public services.
The project agreed upon involves blockchain certificates is expected to be a game-changer for the ministry’s work performance on an educational level as well as with regards to the work and employment sector.
When educational credentials are notarised on the blockchain, users will gain full access and portability, now and in the future.
The project, though in its infancy, has already attracted the interest of the European Union which will be referring to the Maltese initiative in a report scheduled to be published in a couple of weeks.
Although countries like the Netherlands and Estonia have already set up ad hoc centres to research blockchain use in education, Malta is actually the first country that will be issuing notarised blockchain certificates to complement preinted certificates.
The government plans to issue the first certificates by the end of the year.
The education ministry believes that if the technology is used wisely, it could lead to a more inclusive system and prepare youths for productive employment.
“Blockchain gives us the opportunity to ensure that every Maltese citizen take ownership of their educational credentials,” it said in a statement.
The education minister had been working on this initiative with Learning Machine and MIT Media Lab since 2016 and had signed a first MoU with Learning Machine in January this year.
Three institutions – the Malta College for Art, Science and Technology (MCAST), the Institute for Tourism Studies (ITS) and the National Commission for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE) – will be the first to be the first to grant certification for professional and informal education.
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