Ethiopian government to use Cardano blockchain to benefit 5 million students

By Shaurya Malwa

Global blockchain research and Cardano development company IOHK has announced a partnership with the Ethiopian Government, as per a release shared with CryptoSlate.

“Ethiopia’s blockchain-based education transformation is a key milestone on IOHK’s mission to provide economic identities and employment, social and financial services for the digitally excluded,” said IOHK African operations director John O’Connor in a statement.

He added, “After five years of R&D, Cardano is now mature enough to underpin a blockchain solution which can scale to serve an entire national population.”

What does the world look like when everyone gets an equal opportunity to innovate, to grow, to thrive?

Join us for #CardanoAfrica this Thursday April 29 & learn how #Cardano is building fresh opportunities across the African continent: https://t.co/gtrEhmDh0p pic.twitter.com/MeJecPr1Dk

— Input Output (@InputOutputHK) April 26, 2021

Education sees a blockchain boost

The country will implement a national, blockchain-based student and teacher ID and attainment recording system to digitally verify grades, remotely monitor school performance and boost education and employment nationwide.

IOHK’s Atala PRISM identity solution will enable authorities to create tamper-proof records of educational performance across 3,500 schools, 5 million students, and 750,000 teachers to pinpoint the locations and causes of educational under-achievement and allocate educational resources effectively.

The aim is to provide all students with blockchain-verified digital qualifications to reduce fraudulent university and job applications and increase social mobility by allowing employers to verify all applicants’ grades without third-party agencies.

The government is also issuing all teachers and students with tablets and a dedicated internet network giving all students instant access to their academic records, opening up higher education and employment opportunities for the 80% of Ethiopia’s population living in rural regions.

Student IDs will be paired with data from Learning Management Systems and harnessed by machine learning algorithms to drive personalized tuition, a dynamic curriculum, and data-driven policies and funding.

As such, Ethiopia is examining wider adoption of IOHK’s Atala products, which include the PRISM platform, for everything from blockchain-based ‘track-and-trace’ of smallholder agricultural supply chains to digital IDs for transport or healthcare. IOHK is already in discussions around a blockchain-based digital transport ticketing system in Addis Ababa.

Using Cardano for good

IOHK’s Cardano blockchain will allow accurate tracking of individual grades, behavior, attendance and educational attainment across all kindergartens, elementary schools, and general secondary schools.

Teachers will also use the system to manage schedules or transfers, and report behavior or dropouts. The project could ultimately be extended to universities where degrees are also digitally verified on the Cardano blockchain, allowing employers to easily validate the authenticity of applicants’ educational credentials.

IOHK has long recognized that developing countries could uniquely benefit from blockchain technology because of their lack of embedded, legacy digital systems and the fact that blockchains are lower cost than cumbersome infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the firm is already working with other governments on using blockchain to digitize public services, including a project with Georgia’s Ministry of Education pioneering the use of its Atala products to underpin a blockchain-based system for verifying graduate degrees.

This project could light the touchpaper for a wave of third-generation blockchain innovation across Africa and the developing world, bringing vital services to those who have previously been cut off from them.”

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