TI’s Global Corruption Report (GCR) on Education called upon the governments, international agencies, businesspersons and civil societies across the world to acknowledge education as an effective tool to fight corruption. The call was made during the release of TI’s Global Corruption Report (GCR) on Education on 1st October 2013. In Dhaka, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) also organised a press conference to release the report on the same day. The national release urged upon the government and concerned stakeholders to ensure people’s participation and introduce Integrity Pledge (IP) in primary education.
Dr Iftekharuzzaman, Executive Director, TIB presented findings of the GCR focusing Bangladesh. Dr Syed Manzoorul Islam, Member, TIB Board of Trustees; Dr Sumaiya Khair, Deputy Executive Director and Mr Mohammad Hossain, Deputy Programme Manager (Research & Policy), TIB were also present.
According to GCR, while global rate of bribery in education stood at 12%; it was 12%, 13%, 16% and 48% in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India respectively. The report identified corruption risks, types of corruption in education and its monetary value and recommended a number of measures which are leadership, strong political will, impartial and strict application of laws, people’s participation in the management of educational institutions. It revealed that 14% of the population considers Bangladesh’s education to be a highly corrupt sector. Although incidences of bribery was reduced to 14.8% in 2012 from 39% in 2007, it contributed significantly in increasing the cost of education, reducing its quality, and further squeezing the scope of education for the poor.
GCR’s Bangladesh launch gave special emphasis on introducing IP at primary schools. IP is a tripartite agreement signed between school authority, School Management Committee (SMC) and Committee of Concerned Citizens (CCC) with an aim to improve the overall quality of primary education and promote governance. After signing the IP, Alokdia Government Primary School at Madhupur, Tangail marked significant increase in net enrollment, reduction in dropout, competition of fifth and final grades. The school graduated itself from grade B to grade A and became a model in the vicinity.