Corruption in the education sector: an introduction

Corruption in the education sector: an introduction

An introduction to the issues of corruption in the education sector, and strategies to combat it

This short introduction to corruption in the education sector provides an overview of the forms, causes and consequences of corruption in the education sector, and refers to studies about its magnitude. It also suggests strategies to reduce educational corruption.

The article argues that corruption in education cannot be solved in isolation, and that an active citizenry demanding quality education for their children is indispensable for a more accountable education sector.

The paper suggests the following measures contribute to preventing corruption in education::

  • the organisational structure and administrative procedures in the education system need to build on principles of accountability and transparency
  • an Education Management Information System (EMIS) is used in many countries as a management tool for performance monitoring and quality enhancement
  • clear codes of conduct for teachers are needed to establish standards for professional ethics that are not covered under the law
  • enforcement through sanctions of teachers’ and administrators' misconduct is necessary for the credibility of regulation
  • participation allows parents and students to build ownership and to hold teachers and administrators accountable. Community involvement was found to improve school performance in El Salvador’s EDUCO programme and to dramatically increase enrolment in primary schools, despite poor conditions in which they work
  • the public should have access to financial and statistical data on transfer of funds to the schools, on allocation of positions, of goods such as textbooks and stationary, transfers for school meals, etc.
  • there should be transparent procurement procedures and enhanced accountability of public spending
  • corruption in very poor countries will not be cut unless the underlying economic situation has been improved. The government has to be able to ensure adequate teacher salaries, and to adequately resource the education sector.
  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.