General News of Tuesday, 1 October 2013
A new report by Transparency International shows that Ghana’s educational sector is riddled with corruption.
The 2013 Global Corruption Report predicts that the standard of education is failing because corruption has tainted schools and universities in the country.
The report, which was made available to XYZ News by the local chapter of transparency international, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) mentioned that 40 per cent of parents pay illegal fees for education.
The report called for a concerted effort to address the issue.
Below is the statement issued by the Ghana Integrity Initiative on the 2012 Global Corruption Report
The education of our children cannot succeed when corruption taints our schools and universities
New Transparency International report shows education sector is riddled with corruption and suggests how to prevent it and build the next generation of corruption fighters.
This morning, Transparency International released yet again its Global Corruption Report (GCR) 2013. The GCR is one of Transparency International’s flagship publications, bringing the expertise of the anti?corruption movement to bear on a specific corruption issue.
The report highlights cutting edge qualitative and quantitative research, gathers knowledge on lessons learnt and showcases innovative tools. In doing so, it enhances our understanding of the dynamics of corruption and seeks to provide practical and proven solutions to improve governance and accountability. The GCR 2013 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.
Causes of corruption in education: The roots of corrupt practices lie in a lack of transparency and accountability. The inability to access information prevents communities and individuals from being able to monitor budgets and demand answers from those in power. For example, a 2010 Transparency International survey of 8,500 parents and teachers in seven African countries showed that 40 per cent of parents pay illegal fees for education. The Global Corruption Report: Education also cites many examples of bribery in university admissions and administration.
Corruption in education is particularly burdensome for the poor, who, according to the 2010/2011 Global Corruption Barometer, are twice as likely to be asked to pay bribes for basic services as wealthier people. Transparency and strong accountability mechanisms make it harder for corrupt school officials and university staff to disguise this corruption. Identifying and eliminating corruption in the education sector is essential to ensuring that learning opportunities are not undermined.
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 cedi 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.
Ghana is not an exception. For example, the GCR 2013 reports that 40% of Ghanaians surveyed in the Global Corruption Barometer recently had to pay a bribe. Also, on a scoring of perception of corruption of sectors, the education sector was scored 4 out of a maximum score of 5, being most corrupt.
The rate of teacher absenteeism was comparatively high as 24% of teachers were reported missing classes, attributable to inadequate formal supervision and disciplinary action.
The GCR 2013 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.
The GCR 2013 makes a number of recommendations towards addressing corruption in the education sector.
The Global Corruption Report: Education recommends a better understanding of education as an essential tool in itself in the fight against corruption. The social role and value of the school and the teacher must be placed at the forefront of education policy and anti-corruption efforts. Teachers are often the first targets of corruption allegations, but this is often the cause of corruption at the higher level and the nonpayment of salaries or simple undervaluation of teachers.
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.
Leadership and political will 1. Corruption in education should be understood as an obstacle to realizing the human right to education. Efforts to tackle corruption are set by the tone at the top. Honest leaders can be a powerful force in reducing corruption. 2. Ministries of education need to be the first to pursue corruption as an obstacle to high-quality education and to national development with a declaration of a zero-tolerance approach to corruption being an essential element in strengthening access to and the quality of education. Transparency
Transparency frameworks need to be sufficiently robust to collect information that can address all forms of corruption in education.
1. Access to information laws should cover public education data, and proactive disclosure of information in the public interest must be made mandatory with education management systems data made publicly accessible. 2. Higher education institutions should have simple, clear and accessible education guidelines in place to allow students and other stakeholders to monitor systems, effect change within their institutions and strengthen reputation.
Accountability 1. Systems of accountability in educational institutions should clearly and simply state the relevant rules and procedures that are enforceable. 2. Codes of conduct in schools and universities should be drafted in consultation with all stakeholders, making it clear what behaviours constitute corrupt practices.
3.School management boards, civil society groups and others should utilise cooperative agreements, such as ‘integrity pledges’ between parent groups and school management and/or youth groups and universities, as an effective additional means to anti-corruption practices.
Enforcement 1. In addition to criminal prosecution, civil society should support local civil actions to recover costs, as well as public-interest litigation to recover public resources lost to embezzlement and fraud. 2. In addition to enhancing government audits of educational institutions, specialized national agencies should be set up to facilitate the lodging of complaints and enhance the capacity to ensure redress in collaboration with anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies.