Minister for Education and Employment Evarist Bartolo attends the signing of a MOU concerning the accreditation of digital education [20-1-17]

Learning Machine Group (LMG), a technology company dedicated to providing digital social infrastructure at a sovereign nation scale, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry for Education and Employment (MEDE) of the Republic of Malta, according to a press release CoinReport received.

The signing of the MOU co-occurs with the conclusion of “The State of Digital Education: Engaging with Connected, Blended and Open Learning,” a convention held between January 19 and 20 as part of Malta’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Through the MOU, both parties indicate their intentions to develop and implement a Malta pilot of LMG’s nation-state technology platform, said the release.

The platform is based on the LMG- and the MIT Media Lab-developed Blockcerts open standard.

An open-source enterprise, Blockcerts is OBI-compliant. It lays out a shared route for official records that are owned by learners and workers. The LMG technology that will be used in this pilot is developed particularly for professional certifications as well as academic credentialing and helps the creation, issuance, viewing and authentication of blockchain-based certificates.

Because they are registered on a public blockchain and are cryptographically signed, these certificates are tamper-proof and can straightaway be used when applying for university, employment or immigration.

Joseph Caruana, permanent secretary at MEDE, said on the occasion, “We’re very excited to be exploring a pilot of Blockcerts in Malta. This will be a first in Europe, and will empower both education institutions and learners in Malta to take control of education certification using state of the art technology.”

“The Ministry for Education and Employment is committed to continually improving the services it offers in keeping with its objective to provide present and future generations with the necessary skills and talents for citizenship and employability in the 21st century and beyond.”

A key enabler of this mission is proof of skill and achievement. Education is a principal means, as it builds a range of skills and edification that results in empowerment and better financial prospects for communities as well as individuals, said the release, adding that to ensure that the advantages of learning are completely realized, confirmable proof of education is necessary. Academic achievements can very easily be brushed aside by others or they can simply disappear over time without proof, but with proof, each accomplishment turns into a basis of pride and a building block for future achievements. Supplying workers and learners with their official records furnishes the base for sustained personal growth, vocational success and educational momentum.

LMG CEO Chris Jagers said in the release, “Much like the internet, the blockchain is a decentralized network that creates a new paradigm for thinking about future social infrastructures. This innovation has particular relevance in the area of professional and academic certifications. The blockchain is an immutable ledger of transactions replicated across a global network. Historically, this ledger has been used to record financial transactions (who sent it, who received it, and how much was sent). This same infrastructure is now being used to record the conferring of achievements (academic degrees, professional training, licenses to practice, prizes, and the like) using the same general data structure (who issued it, who received it, and an encrypted record that is used for verification). The blockchain acts as a notary to record and later verify any professional or academic claim, without having to consult a centralized authority.”

Image received via press release. Photo credit: DOI – Reuben Piscopo (linked source)

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