Corruption in education is sector-wide. It may be found in all areas of educational planning and management – school financing, recruitment, promotion and appointment of teachers, building of schools, supply and distribution of equipment and textbooks, admission to universities, and so on.
IIEP has drawn a typology of those main areas (see table below).
Typology of opportunities of corruption in education
|Areas of planning/management||Examples of opportunities for corrupt practices|
|Finance and allocation of specific allowances||Leakage of funds|
Collection of illegal fees
|Construction, maintenance and school equipment||Fraud in public tendering|
Inflation of costs and activities
|Teacher management and behaviour||Ghost teachers|
Fraud in the appointment and deployment of staff
|Examinations and diplomas|
Access to universities
Diploma mills and false credentials
Fraud in the accreditation process
|Information systems||Manipulating data|
Irregularity in producing and publishing information
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 examination of 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 ETICO Page on Publications). More recently, IIEP has launched work on teacher codes of conduct and transparency in the targeting and management of pro-poor incentives.