When it comes to education deficit, corruption leads the way
January 10, 2019 Mduduzi Mbiza 0 Comments
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Everyone is now keen to engage and take action in the fight against education problems. Countries are gearing for 2030, with the hope of meeting SDG 4 among other goals.
It has been discussed that more funds are needed to completely deal with education problems, for instance, universal schooling. However, funds alone are just not enough. In the course of raising more funds to close the deficit in education, countries need to deal with corruption.
What the research is saying
The 2013 Global Corruption Report: Education
by Transparency International notes that:
“In the case of South Africa, for example, data was collected from a broad cross-section of stakeholders to produce governance risk maps describing transactions between specific actors in the primary education sector that are likely to involve corrupt practices. The findings from South Africa indicate that, while corruption risks at the higher levels of administration are limited, serious governance and performance deficits exist further down the chain, most notably at school level.”
In 2012 the
department of basic education failed to deliver books on time to some schools
in Limpopo. This according to Judy Kolappen was a violation of the
constitutional right to an education. Meaning the department simply denied
learners from these schools the right to education.
It doesn’t end there, for a long time, salaries have been paid to ghost teachers in South African schools. In 2016 the provincial Department of Education in Kwa-Zulu Natal froze salaries of about 4 334 teachers who were nowhere to be found when a head count was conducted in the province. This happens when the school principal doesn’t report that a teacher at their school has passed on. They would then receive the salary of the deceased.
All of the
above mentioned cases are cases that happen at the lower level of the
department’s structure, which makes it hard to track due to hierarchies. This
in turn results in a lot money that is raised through taxpayers going down the
in education is not only a problem to South Africa. Bribes to reserve a seat at
a prestigious primary school in Vietnam, for example, are documented to be
running at a level more than double the country’s GDP per capita (Stephanie Chow and Dao Thi Nga, Chapter 2.6
in this volume.)
in schools can include procurement in construction, ‘shadow schools’ – there are
claims of up to 8,000 in Pakistan alone (Syed
Adil Gilani, Chapter 2.2 in this volume, and News International (Pakistan),
‘Billions Sunk in 8,000 Ghost Schools: Offi cial’, 18 July 2012.)
In addition to this, ‘ghost teachers’ and the diversion of resources intended for textbooks and supplies, bribery in access to education and the buying of grades, nepotism in teacher appointments and fake diplomas, the misuse of school grants for private gain, absenteeism, and private tutoring in place of formal teaching – costing South Korean households some US$17 billion, or 80 per cent of total government expenditure on education, in 2009 alone (Mark Bray and Chad Lykins, Shadow Education: Private Supplementary Tutoring and Its Implications for Policy Makers in Asia (Manila: Asian Development Bank, 2012), p. 21, figure 1, quoting Korean National Statistical Office 2011–2012)
In order to
meet education goals, in order to ensure that the funds being raised to tackle
educational issues are being used responsibly and resourcefully, corruption
needs to be looked at differently especially in the lower levels. Tackling
corruption would be one step closer to achieving education goals.
Born 1993 January 12, in Pretoria, South Africa. Mduduzi Mbiza is a writer, speaker, researcher, consultant, philosopher and author of the book, ‘Human Education: The Voyage Of Discovery’. He has contributed his articles on education to Daily Maverick, The South African, Voice360 and EduOne.
In 2017 he published his statistical research paper on education titled, ‘Education in Economic Development: South Africa’.
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