Corrupt practices, such as the misappropriation of educational funds or asking for illegal school fees, can cause significant financial losses to a country’s education budget and represent an unbearable burden for the world’s poorest. Improving transparency and accountability and introducing anti-corruption measures is therefore of utmost importance to improve access, equity and efficiency in the education sector.
It is in this this context that IIEP recently conducted its first international online course on ‘Transparency, accountability and anti-corruption measures in education’. The 7-week course’s objective was to enable national planners from all over the world to better assess the nature and extent of corruption in the education sector, and to identify good practices and solutions to address the problem. Over 70 participants worked together during the course, divided among 15 country teams.
"The topic of the course is really what education needs nowadays."
- Participant from Oman
The participants benefited greatly from the lively online discussions, which spanned three modules from 19 October to 4 December. The guided exchanges between participants and instructors offered a unique opportunity for these education professionals to learn from each other’s diverse and rich experiences.
Under the supervision of IIEP’s experts, the 15 country teams prepared an anti-corruption strategy for their respective countries, including the mapping of risks, selecting appropriate diagnostic tools and drafting a strategy to successfully improve the integrity of the education system. The documents developed during the course represent a strong starting point for the teams to develop a comprehensive national anti-corruption strategy for the education sector in the countries where they work.
By the end of the course, some of the participants had already made concrete plans on how they would implement what they had learned during the course.
The recent course built on IIEP’s comprehensive capacity building programme on 'Ethics and corruption in education'. This programme has over 10 years’ experience in training public authorities, civil society representatives and international agency staff.
"We are now planning to conduct research on absenteeism and cheating in exams in [our] University and planning to conduct training for primary and secondary teachers in the region in collaboration with the education bureau."
- Participant from Ethiopia
As the map above illustrates, more than 2,100 people from approximately 150 countries have so far benefited from the IIEP’s anti-corruption training. Training courses have embraced a variety of formats, such as intensive residential courses, summer schools, or online courses, and have been organized with the support of renowned international partners, including: The World Bank, U4, Transparency International, the Open Society Foundations, as well as a number of national ministries of education and development agencies.
"[The course] was very insightful, it gave me a broader perspective of fraud and transparency in the accounting system."
- Participant from Barbados
The IIEP is pleased to announce that the course on 'Transparency, accountability and anti-corruption measures in education' will be repeated in French next year, starting in October 2016.