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Cumbersome process of getting school certificate

Cumbersome process of getting school certificate

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May 01, 2017 - 14:18

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Some individuals are involved in making fake 12th grade certificates, with the lengthy procedure for the document’s release from the concerned government body paving the ground for corruption and kickbacks, Pajhwok Afghan News has reliably learnt.

Applicants say they are frustrated by the delaying tactics of department tasked with issuing 12th class certificates. Many are deprived of higher educationinfo-icon because they cannot get their course completion certificates in due time.

Students from some provinces complain of being asked for additional money to be provided with their schools certificates by the authority. They blame the school administration for failing to provide complete particulars of students -- details needed for issuance of certificates.

Fake certificates

Pajhwok Afghan News has learnt that certain individuals forge school certificates and fleece students in this way. A number of the elements involved in the sordid business have been referred to the attorney officer for investigation.

One applicant from southern Ghazni province, who wished to go unnamed, confided to Pajhwok he had applied for a vacancy in a government institution three year back but he being a 9th grader was rejected on the ground that he was under-qualified.

Having studied at the Momin School, he said: “I had no other option but to make a fake 12th grade certificate (Shahadatnama) in return for 30,000 afghanis.”

Ahmad Rafai Shams, a resident of the eight municipality district of Herat City who studied until ninth class, was referred to a man who got him a bogus school certificate for 30,000 afghanis.

Abdul Razzaq Ahmadi, Herat education director, acknowledged forgery of school certificates, saying some staffers of district schools were involved in the practice. He, however, said due to a human resource shortage in the monitoring board they were unable to keep an eye on all schools.

Certain senior government officials supported the illegal distribution of school certificates to applicants, he alleged, blasting such individuals for damaging the cause of education. The problem did not existed in Herat City, the provincial capital, he explained.

Naheed Naqashbandi, director- general of results and certificates at the Herat education department, said they were striving not to issue school certificates to the students with the fake results and documents.

“We halt withhold the certificates of suspects or those having problems in their results. If forged results are provided by the school, then the department could not do anything,” Naqashbandi added. Some individuals involved in making phony certificates have been introduced to the attorney office.

Pervez, a resident of Kabul who dropped out of 12th class, admitted having a crack at getting a bogus certificate. He met an individual a month back, who offered to give him a fake certificate for 35,000 afghanis, with the issue date of 2016.

The fraudster told him any date before that was not possible.  As a result, Pervez (40) rejected the offer.

It is pertinent to recall some provincial council members are also known to have forged 12th class documents. Mohammad Nader Mohseni, former spokesman for the Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon), said during the 2014 polls the education ministry had rejected the certificates of some provincial council member.

Abdul Zahoor Hakeem, head of the results and certificates distribution department at the ministry, said forged documents looked like genuine certificates, with counterfeit signatures of education officials. Telling these documents apart was difficult, he acknowledged.

Without giving details, the officials said some cheats had been arrested and referred to the attorney office.

Lengthy process

The procedure for getting a certificate includes writing an application, filling out a form, depositing an amount of 200 afghanis in the bank and attaching the voucher with the application and submission of three-year results to authorities concerned.

After these formalities are met, the certificate is sent to the education minister for stamping and signature. Hakeem said five months ago, it took one month meeting the formalities. But now the process has been simplified and a certificate is issued within eight days.

He, however, said the distribution of certificates in the provinces took more time. The process is meant for individuals who want to get manually certificates from the ministry. Certificates are also sent to schools, where they are delivered to students.

But some students in the provinces said getting certificates from schools was a lengthy process. Abdul Jalil Spinghar, a student of economics faculty at the Nangarhar University, called getting school certificates after graduation a huge problem. He is unable to get his certificate until now.

“Having no certificate, I missed many opportunities of higher education abroad. Last year, I came to Kabul to get my school certificate. I was pained a lot visiting different departments. Finally, I was told to come after three weeks. In frustration, I tore the documents I had and returned home heart-broken.”

Marzia, who graduated from the Zarghona High School last year, approached the department concerned to get her certificate. “It has been two month going here and there to get my certificate. If I am not provided the document soon, I will not return.”

Ghulam Hassan Nazari, who completed his 12th class last year from Abdul Rahim Shaheed High School of Kabul in the limits of 13th municipality district, has also unable to get his certificate after a month of hectic efforts.

He said: “I may not be able to get my certificate in months from the school as officials of the department concerned work until 2:00pm and don’t accept applications in the afternoon.”

The Pajhwok reporter saw for three days entrance to the result and certificate department of the ministry being opened for applicants at 8:30am. The applicants referred to different departments to get certificates but the officials reached their offices at 9:30am, with visitors having no option but to wait in queues.

But Mohammad Saleem, in charge of the application-collecting section, said only the cash deposit officer, who charged 200 afghanis per certificate, worked until 2:00pm when the amount of money collected has to be deposited in De Afghanistaninfo-icon Bank. The remaining departments work until 4:30pm.

Fatima Najafi, who graduated from school in 2013, griped it took her an inordinately long time of six months getting her certificate.

Meanwhile, some students from central Parwan province also said the distribution of certificates was a lengthy process.

Hakeemi said he wanted to study politics and law at a private university but was unable to do so because he did not have the school certificate.

The result and certificate department head estimated 1,000 to 2,000 people applied for school certificates on a daily bases, but due to the lack of human resource, office equipment and other problems, it took longer to issuing certificates.

He, however, assured the school certificate distribution system would be computerised soon. In the new system, only the signature of the school principal would be required to eliminate delays in the process.

Reference does the trick

A lady whose daughter lost her school certificate was able to find it after weeks of efforts. “If you don’t have a reference, you cannot finish your work soon.

“I came here two days back and was told to come today again.” She tried hard to find the certificate inside a pile of documents. She found it in five minutes after meeting a relative in the department, who took her to the officer concerned.

According to the woman, the employees of the department bothered applicants on one pretext or another and did not discharge their duty properly.

The department head did not deny nepotism and bribery, blaming black sheep for violating the prescribed procedures and the delay in issuance of certificates.

Backhander demand

A number of school graduates in Parwan said they were requested to pay extra money for receiving their graduation certificate in the relevant offices.

Fardin Hakimi, 24, a resident of the second police district of Charikarinfo-icon, the capital of Parwan, said he graduated from Sadiqi High School in 2011. Twenty-two of his classmates and he himself paid bribes to obtain their certificates.

Based on the relevant law, a graduate has to pay only 200 afghanis for the certificate but each of the 23 Sadiqi High School students paid 350 afghanis. The officers allegedly told them the certificates’ endorsement in Kabul required extra money.

Mohammad Sharif, who graduated four years ago from the Abu Zar Ghafari High School in the Rubat area of Charikar, also claimed he had been asked for extra money. He paid 500 afghanis to his school for receiving the certificate.

But Mir Esmatullah, principal of Sadiqi High School, denied receiving 350 afghanis from each graduate. He said each student last year was asked to pay 200 afs for the certificate and 300 afghanis for the exam form.

Noor Ahmad, who graduated from Mashriqi High School in the capital of southern Kandahar province last year, paid 1,000 afghanis for obtaining his certificate He also complained about the long procedure and asked the relevant officials to a simple mechanism.

Nazar Mohammad Samimi, spokesman for the education department in Kandahar, confirmed each graduate needed to pay only 200 afghanis for the certificate. However, students willingly paid the school administration extra money for travel to Kabul.

The certificate distribution head at the Kandahar education department admitted the long procedure had paved the ground for corruption. He said corrupt officers exploited the graduates belonging to remote areas.

“I know some corrupt individuals in the capital and districts take around 1,000 afghanis from each graduate under different pretexts,” he remarked, agreeing corruption and misuse of authority could not be denied in an office inundated by visitors with strong connections.

He has tried a lot to prevent corruption by curtailing the powers of his subordinates but the scourge is yet to be eliminated. He said a phone number, which could be called to register complaints, had been written on the notice boad.

Kickbacks

A number of candidates said the long procedure forced them to use illegally ways including bribes to obtain their certificates in time.

Mohammad Zaman, a resident of the Deh Mazang area of Kabul, panned the long procedure and saidhe was too busy and had to pay 2,500 afghanis to a middleman, who handed him the required document. He said the agent was an officer of the certificate office, knowing how to wrap up the procedure within a week.

Nilofar, who graduated 15 years ago from the Fatima Balkhi High School in northern Balkh province, tried to get her certificate seven years ago.

“I was too busy at that time to visit the education department to receive my certificate. I met a person in the Secondary Education Department in Kabul and he promised getting me the certificate for 2,500 afghanis,” she charged.

She said her certificate was prepared within a week as all her records were available in the department.

Abdul Zahoor Hakim, head of the certificate office at the Ministry of Education, did not rule out the involvement of middlemen in the certificate distribution process. However, no one has been arrested on the charge so far.

Spelling mistakes

A number of applicants complained certificate department officers did not care about entering their full identity details in certificates, an issue that has created problems for them.

Mohammad Qasim Asadi, a resident of Kabul, applied for his certificate three years ago, but his father’s name was misspelled in the document once he received it. He was obliged to return it.

“When I visited the City Education Department for correction, the officials there referred me do many different addresses. I have stopped pursuing the document but later I needed it and went again to the department. However, I am still unable to get it,” he said.

A person visiting the certificate department in Kabul said her father’s full name was Mohammad Momin but in her certificate, it was reduced to Momin.

The woman, who wished to go unnamed, said the officials concerned told her she had to correct her father’s name in her identity card. She has already spent two months trying to make the correction, but in vain.

Abdul Zahoor Hakim said such problems were mostly inherited from school principals and others who paid little attention to noting students’ complete particulars.

He said his department was trying to correct the mistakes in certificates as soon as possible. Some applicants had low-level education and they could not properly enter their particulars in the application forms.

nh/mds/mud

 

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