Ghana’s Education Sector Rife with Corruption as Parents Pay Bribes

A new report by Transparency International has found that corruption is jeopardizing the educational goals of Ghana. According to the report, the country's education system is so rife with corruption that efforts to address it are of paramount importance to those struggling to improve Ghana's education sector.

The 2013 Global Corruption Report by the local chapter of transparency international Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) showed that 40% of parents pay illegal fees for education. According to the report, Ghana's education standards are poor due to corruption that tainted schools and universities in the country, reports XYZ News.

The education of our children cannot succeed when corruption taints our schools and universities, according to the report. The report highlights cutting edge qualitative and quantitative research, gathers knowledge on lessons learnt and showcases innovative tools. It enhances an understanding of the dynamics of corruption and seeks to provide practical and proven solutions to improve governance and accountability.

The roots of corrupt practices lie in a lack of transparency and accountability. The report calls on governments, international organizations, businesses and civil society to ensure good governance is promoted in education policy — something desperately needed in Ghana.

Inability to access basic information prevents communities and individuals from being able to monitor budgets and demand answers from those in power:

The implementation of anti-corruption basics such as access to information on education policy, codes of conduct for educators, parent and student participation in governance, and clear systems of oversight and accountability across the education spectrum would ensure that every cedi spent on teaching our children ends up where it should: building schools, paying teachers and buying textbooks.

And Ghana isn't alone — corruption has damaged the reputation of the education sector in many countries — but the situation appears to be dire. On a scoring of perception of corruption of sectors, the education sector was scored 4 out of a maximum score of 5, being most corrupt.

The report shows that in all cases, corruption in education acts as a dangerous barrier to high-quality learning and social and economic development. The report recommends a better understanding of education as an essential tool in itself in the fight against corruption. The social role and value of the school and the teacher must be placed at the forefront of education policy and anti-corruption efforts. Teachers are often the first targets of corruption allegations, but this is often the cause of corruption at a higher level and the nonpayment of salaries or simple undervaluation of teachers.

The report advises that national policymakers should understand the teacher as a role model and the school as a microcosm of society and train teachers to teach by example.

Transparency frameworks need to be sufficiently robust to collect information that can address all forms of corruption in education. Access to information laws should cover public education data, and proactive disclosure of information in the public interest must be made mandatory with education management systems data made publicly accessible, according to the report.

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