Education cannot succeed when corruption taints schools and universities: TI

Wednesday, 2 October 2013 00:02 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Transparency International in a new report shows how stepping up the fight against corruption in education is necessary not only to keep kids in school and meet literacy and development goals, but also to ensure that the next generation is prepared to say no to corruption. The ‘Global Corruption Report: Education’ details numerous practical steps to prevent the abuse of power, bribery and secret dealings from corroding the educational experience. It calls on governments, international organisations, businesses and civil society to ensure good governance is promoted in education policy all over the world. “For schools to educate the corruption fighters of tomorrow they need to be free from corruption themselves. Without a strong dose of integrity, our schools and universities will fail to provide future leaders with the basic tools needed to succeed, and more importantly, to combat graft,” said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International. “With nearly a fifth of the world’s population between 15 and 24 years old, young people have the potential to stop corruption both as the citizens of today and as the leaders of tomorrow.” The implementation of anti-corruption basics such as access to information on education policy, codes of conduct for educators, parent and student participation in governance, and clear systems of oversight and accountability across the education spectrum would ensure that every dollar, peso or rupee spent on teaching our children ends up where it should: building schools, paying teachers and buying textbooks. However, corruption has undermined the reputation of the education sector in many countries. Almost one in five people worldwide paid bribes to education services last year, according to Transparency International’s 2013 Global Corruption Barometer. In the world’s poorest countries the number rises to one in three. The Global Corruption Report: Education sheds light on the many shapes and forms of corrupt practices in education, be they the embezzlement of national education funds, hidden school costs or the buying and selling of fake degrees. It also shows that in all cases corruption in education acts as a dangerous barrier to high-quality learning and social and economic development. It jeopardises the academic benefits of universities and may even lead to the reputational collapse of a country’s entire higher education system. In assessing the way forward, the Global Corruption Report: Education highlights new approaches to arresting corruption in education. The 442-page book is broken into five sections of analysis and recommendations from over 70 experts in more than 50 countries. They include: National policy-makers should understand the teacher as a role model and the school as a microcosm of society, and train teachers to teach by example. The international community, and relevant international organisations, such as the World Bank and UNESCO, should prioritise efforts to assist governments in tackling corruption  Access to information laws should cover public education data, and proactive disclosure of information in the public interest must be made mandatory Higher education institutions should have simple, clear and accessible education guidelines in place to allow students and other stakeholders to monitor systems, the role of education in strengthening personal and professional integrity. To prevent corruption from becoming commonplace, promoting integrity among young people is critical to building a better future. From Chile to Morocco to Thailand, many of Transparency International’s chapters have proven that developing wide-ranging programmes that integrate anti-corruption initiatives in school curricula and classroom activities are vital to ending corruption in education