IIEP recently launched a Russian-language version of its book, Corrupt schools, corrupt universities: What can be done? Authored by Jacques Hallak and Muriel Poisson, the book brings to light the importance of combatting corruption in education as well as key tools to detect corruption and tackle malpractices.
Book launch sparks lively discussion
The book was first presented at the Saint Petersburg State University before UNESCO Chairs, representatives from several universities and academic staff and students. An audience of researchers and students also gathered at the Institute of Education from the Higher School of Economics in Moscow for a second presentation this month. Lastly, it was featured at the EUREKA Conference in Moscow, from April 15-16, on education for the 21st Century, which brought together more than 150 education professionals, pedagogues and teachers from across the country.
Lively discussions followed the three presentations with a particular focus on how corruption is dealt with in the law and how to fight plagiarism and other issues of ethics and academic honesty.
Corruption in education
Rigged calls for tender, embezzlement of funds, illegal registration fees, academic fraud – there is no lack of empirical data illustrating the diverse forms that corruption can take in the education sector. Surveys suggest that fund leakage from education ministries to schools can come in the form of huge bribes and payoffs in teacher recruitment and promotion, lowering the quality of teachers. Illegal payments for school entrance can also contribute to low-enrollment and high drop-out rates.
Drawing from a decade of research by IIEP, the book defines the key concepts of corruption, transparency, accountability and ethics, and describes tools that can be used to assess corruption problems. Lessons are drawn from strategies used worldwide to improve transparency and accountability in educational management.
The authors bring these together in a list of recommendations for policy-makers and educational managers. They argue that transparent regulatory systems, greater accountability through strengthened management capacity, and enhanced ownership of the management process can help build corruption-free education systems.