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For Christians who celebrate Easter according to the Julian calendar, today is Good Friday, the day when, according to belief, Jesus Christ died, crucified on the cross on Golgotha.Today is Good Friday, the saddest day. I followed all the customs and then sat down to read the crypto news.What caught my attention was a noble example of the use of blockchain.
Ethiopia introduces blockchain-based school reform
An unusual partnership is being developed between the Ethiopian government and the blockchain research and development company IOHK. Namely, the goal is to improve schooling by giving each student and teacher a unique ID by accessing the system for automatic verification and storage of data on schooling (grades, progress, etc.).
The platform called Atala PRISM ID will enable the authorities to monitor data on schooling for five million students in three and a half thousand schools and seven hundred and fifty thousand teachers, which will very accurately monitor their development, academic progress, and in order to determined where the weak points are in the country's education system. This will eliminate the possibility of fraud with diplomas and applications to higher education institutions. In addition to this platform, the Ethiopian government will provide tablets and internet access, which will open schooling opportunities for 80 percent of students living in rural areas.
Blockchain can verify personal data without third party institutions, helping safeguard data privacy and giving remote rural populations easy ‘one-stop shop’ access to education, employment and other financial or social services.
The blockchain-based national identity system is at the heart of Ethiopia’s Digital Transformation Strategy Digital Ethiopia 2025. The government has issued a national identity standard and the Atala PRISM blockchain ID will be the first system to issue IDs based on this standard.
The strategy seeks to drive the country’s transformation into one of the world’s middle-income countries through the digitization of sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism.
Ethiopia is also examining the 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.
In Addis Abada - Ethiopia’s sprawling capital - IOHK is already in discussions around a blockchain-based digital transport ticketing system in Addis Ababa.
IOHK’s Cardano blockchain will allow authorities to track individual grades, behavior, attendance and educational attainment across all kindergartens, elementary schools, and secondary schools. Teachers will also use the system to manage schedules or transfers, and report behavior or drop-outs.
John O’Connor, who is IOHK’s African Operations Director, believes the partnership with the government of Ethiopia could well be the spark that ignites a tinderbox of blockchain innovation throughout the African continent.
“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,” he explained.
“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.
IOHK has long recognized that developing world countries could uniquely benefit from blockchain because of their lack of embedded, legacy digital systems and the fact that blockchains are low cost and require little computing power.
It is already working with other governments on using blockchain to digitize public services, including a project with Georgia’s Ministry of Education which is pioneering the use of Atala products to underpin a blockchain-based system for verifying graduate degrees.
IOHK has also trained a large number of female software developers across Ethiopia in blockchain solutions.