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Unit probes education institutions offering questionable credits

Repeka Nasiko
Sunday, July 27, 2014

SOME institutions have been offering qualifications that do not meet the minimum requirements of the Fiji National Qualifications Framework.

Fiji Higher Education Professional Services Unit team leader Eci Naisele said this had been going on for too long.

"The definition of a qualification that meets the minimum requirement, according to the laws of developing qualifications, is that the standard ratio of one credit is equivalent to 10 hours of learning," he said.

"So if we have a certificate qualification which has 40 credits that means the learning hours is about 400 hours and is the equivalent of about two months and three weeks of classroom work, practicals, work attachments, etc .

"Anything less than that is not a qualification."

He said the commission had discovered that some institutions offered two-day workshops or week-long courses and offered certificates as a qualification.

"That is not allowed and we are going to come down hard on those we find to be doing this.

"What they are supposed to do is give a certificate of attendance or participation."

He said under the Fiji National Qualifications Framework, the commission only registered award-conferring institutions.

"When you confer an award that means you are delivering a qualification.

"Yes, we have identified quite a number of institutions that have been doing this and we are engaging them and advising them not to do these things."

He said one such institution was found in Suva.

"There was a computer school in Suva that came to us and told us that they were offering 56 qualifications but when we looked at the programs most of them did not meet the qualification laws so we redesigned their program and brought it down from 56 to only five qualifications.

"They were after the money rather than giving the proper qualifications."

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