Mapping of risks
What happens when corruption affects education?
Corruption reduces access to education – from pre-school to university. It creates low-quality learning environments, where the poor suffer the most, and undermines our collective welfare. It erodes the foundation of quality education for all.
Corruption in the education sector can be defined as “the systematic use of public office for private benefit, whose impact is significant on the availability and quality of educational goods and services, and, as a consequence on access, quality or equity in education” (Hallak and Poisson, 2002)
Typology of opportunities of corruption in education
IIEP has drawn up a typology of those main areas (see table below)
Areas of planning/management
Examples of opportunities for corrupt practices
|Finance and allocation of specific allowances|
|Construction, maintenance and school equipment||
Fraud in public tendering
|Teacher management and behaviour|
Examinations and diplomas
Source: adapted from Hallak and Poisson, 2007
As shown in the table, within each of the planning/management areas corrupt practices can take many forms, including embezzlement, bypassing of criteria, and favouritism. Manipulation of information and statistical data are among the concerns that cut across all of these areas.
In order to reduce such practices, particular attention must be paid to integrating anti-corruption issues into education planning, with an in-depth risk analysis, definition of clear norms and standards, setting up of transparent procedures, development of management capacities, better access to information, etc.
In this context, IIEP has commissioned several studies as part of its programme on ‘Ethics and corruption in education’, to document the experiences of countries that have succeeded in improving transparency and accountability in specific areas of educational planning and management. Areas include in particular: formula funding of schools, academic fraud, and adverse effects of private tutoring (to find out more about the major results of these studies, refer to the ETICO Page on Publications). More recently, IIEP launched work on teacher codes of conduct and transparency in the targeting and management of pro-poor incentives.