Efforts to offer schooling to all children around the world are hindered by corruption among local political and education leaders, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
Illegal school fees, bribes and payoffs in teacher recruitment, “ghost teachers” on payrolls, and general leakage of money away from schools account for the loss of large proportions of school budgets in many countries, according to the June 6 report. It includes information from some 60 countries, as well as case studies outlining how corruption affects schools in several parts of the world.
“Corrupt Schools, Corrupt Universities: What Can Be Done” is available for purchase online from UNESCO.
“Such widespread corruption not only costs societies billions of dollars, it also seriously undermines the vital effort to provide education for all,” UNESCO Director-General Köichiro Matsurra said in a statement. “It prevents poorer parents from sending their children to school, robs schools and pupils of equipment, lowers teaching standards and thus education standards generally, and compromises the future of our youth.”
A version of this article appeared in the June 20, 2007 edition of Education Week