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Orruption in Primary Education in Bangladesh Essay

Introduction The adult literacy rate is 51 percent The average number of teacher per primary school is only 4 Average number of students per primary school is 273 The primary teacher-student ratio is 67:1 Source: Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics 2 Development in Primary Education Adoption of an education policy in 2000 Five-year cycle to an eight-year cycle by 2010 Free and compulsory primary education for all children; Free education for girls up to grade eight; Free books for all children at primary level;

3 Development in Primary Education A food-for-education programme Primary Education Stipend Programme (PESP) Creation of a separate Primary and Mass Education Division (PMED) A proliferation of non-formal education programme by NGOs, and 4 Achievements in Primary Education Net enrolment rate has reached 80 percent Over 70 percent of the students now complete the five-year primary cycle 60 percent are present in school on an average day Source: Campaign for Popular Education & The University Press Ltd. 5

State of Corruption, Mismanagement and Irregularities in Primary Education All these programmes are infested with endless flaws and irregularities. TIB Household Corruption Survey identified the education sector as fifth corrupt sectors (2002) TIB Corruption Database identified the education sector as the third most corrupt sectors (2004) TIB and Committees of Concerned Citizens (CCCs) conducted a Report Card Survey in the primary education to identify the gaps and flaws in our basic education level as well as to locate and dispose of corruption.

6 Committees of Concerned Citizens (CCCs) TIB developed six Committees of Concerned Citizens (CCCs) Mymensingh Kishoregonj Nalitalari Madhupur Muktagacha, Jamalpur The main objective of the formation of the CCCs is to create local groups which would serve as local lobbyists seeking to curb corruption, instigate reform and promote integrity in the public service delivery system.

7 Sources of Data Corruption in Primary Education: A Report Card Survey, TIB (2001) Report card survey is a simple approach for organizing public feed back Report Cards are designed to assess the nature, types, extent and implications of corruption, and at the same time facilitate stakeholders participatory movement for improving the quality of service in the sector. 8

Name of Areas and number of different respondents for the Report Card Survey (2001) Respondents Area Mymensingh Muktagachha Jamalpur Kishoregonj Nalitabari Madhupur Gouripur Sharishabar Total Headmaster 23 25 20 21 19 20 21 22 171 Student 115 124 120 120 120 120 113 134 966 Guardian 115 124 120 120 120 120 113 134 966 Total 253 273 260 261 259 260 247 290 2103 9 Sources of Data

Corruption in Bangladesh: A Household Survey, TIB (2002) Information from 3030 Households Corruption Database: TIB (2004) Information from 26 Dailies Corruption in Bangladesh: A Household Survey, TIB (2005) Information from 3000 Households Quality with Equity: The Primary Education Agenda, Campaign for Popular Education Bangladesh (2005) 8212 Respondents 10 Corruption in admission in primary education TIB Report card Survey (2001) shows that 6. 52% of the primary students paid Tk 63/- on average as admission fees .

TIB Household Corruption Survey (2005) showed that 40% primary students had to pay 209 taka as admission fees 11 Irregular subscription/fees TIB Report Card Survey (2001) revealed that each student of primary schools had to pay 47 taka on average subscription for at least nine purposes which is illegal TIB Household Corruption Survey (2005) revealed that each student of primary schools had to pay 58 taka on average subscription for at least nine purposes which is illegal 12 Percentage of students who paid illegal fees 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0.

Sp or ts Bo ok s rit ua ls m ot io n ex am ex ta in m lE po se s th er pu r am . xa en t En te r Pr om 2n d Re lig io us m 1s tT er Te Fi na rm 2001 2005 Source Corruption in Primary Education: A Report Card Survey (2001) Corruption in Bangladesh: A Household Survey (2005) O 13 Amount of average illegal fess 2001 30 27 24 21 18 15 12 9 6 3 0 m ion ok s . ex am or ts t en ls r it ua us io O th er inm lE Bo ex Sp os es pu rp am xa ot om Pr te En 2005 er m Fi na tT Te rm rta 1s d 2n Source Corruption in Primary Education: A Report Card Survey (2001) Corruption in Bangladesh: A Household Survey (2005).

Re l ig 14 Corruption in Food for Education Program 16 % of the cases the criterion was not observed 15. 5% of the students paid on an average Taka 32 to be included in the programme Subscription was collected by teachers, Dealers and from Others On average every student received 2. 47 Kgs food grain less every time Missing 1241 tons of food grain in 8 Upazillas equivalent to 12 million taka (1USD=52 taka) Source: Corruption in Primary Education:A Report Card Survey (2001) 15 Primary Education Stipend Programme (PESP).

Started from July 2002 substituting the former Food for Education Programme (FFE). Aim of attracting and keeping more children, especially of the poor Forty percent of the students in rural area are eligible to receive Tk 100 stipend per month Identification of 40 percent of pupil enrolled in grades 1-5 from the poorest households by School Management Committee (SMC) To remain eligible for the monthly stipend, a student has to attain minimum 40 percent marks in term examinations and have 85 percent monthly class attendance. 16 Corruption in Primary Education Stipend Programme (PESP).

Over two-thirds of the children from the poorest category were not selected to be recipients of stipend; 27 percent of children from affluent households received the stipend 32. 4% primary school students who have been enrolled for stipend had to pay 40 taka for their enrolment 46 percent of the stipend holders did not receive the full amount of stipend Source Corruption in Bangladesh: A Household Survey (2005) Source: Campaign for Popular Education & The University Press Ltd. 17 Corruption in Upazilla Primary Education Offices

34% of the responding headmasters said that bribes are occasionally required to be paid 13% said that they have to do so every time. Source: Corruption in Primary Education:A Report Card Survey (2001) 18 Consequences of corruption Concerned officials of primary education collected 19. 85 million taka (1USD=52 taka) as illegal subscription from 8 areas (out of 500 areas). Concerned primary education officials collected 546 million taka (1USD=60 taka) as illegal fees from all over Bangladesh Concerned PESP officials collected 25 million taka from primary students to enroll them in the PESP from all over Bangladesh .

Source Corruption in Primary Education: A Report Card Survey (2001) Corruption in Bangladesh: A Household Survey (2005) 19 Perpetrators of Corruption 1. Teachers 2. Food dealers 3. Management committee of institutions 4. Employees of institutions Source Corruption in Primary Education: A Report Card Survey (2001) Corruption in Bangladesh: A Household Survey (2005) 20 Causes of corruption 1. Absence of accountability 2. Discretionary power 3. Lack of transparency 4. Monopoly power 5. Influence of powerful people Source Corruption in Bangladesh: A Household Survey (2002) 21 The objectives of CCCs advocacy activities on Primary Education.

Ensuring quality education in all classrooms implying that there shall remain no room for pursuing any kind of ill motives for personal gain of any concerned party; Promoting collection of reasonable and standard fees in all primary schools; Ensuring that schools keep proper record of official fund collection and expenditure; Promoting the effectiveness of School Management Committees (SMC) and the Parent-Teacher Associations (PTA) to work as watchdog bodies for the betterment of local-level education; Suggesting strategies for meaningfully reducing the rate of dropouts. 22.

TIB initiatives to curb corruption from Primary education: Success of CCCs The advocacy undertaken by CCCs for achieving the above objectives are at three level; Firstly, the CCCs are working to increase mass people through mobile theatres, mothers’ gathering and parents-teachers gathering etc. Secondly, the CCCs are trying to build coalition with School Management Committee (SMC), Upazilla Education Committee, and with the Civil Society. Finally, the CCCs are working with the concerned officials including Upazilla Education Offices, District Education Offices, Upazilla and District administrations etc.

23 TIB initiatives to curb corruption from Primary education: Success of CCCs Most of the upazilla primary education offices have taken initiatives for curbing corruption in their offices. As a result, corruption has somewhat reduced in the offices of the upazilla primary education offices. A number of teachers informed the CCCs that they are not giving bribes in the education office for their services. Because of CCC advocacy, a number of education offices decided on a fixed amount of fees for various purposes. The teachers are no longer collecting illegal fees from the students.

24 TIB initiatives to curb corruption from Primary education: Success of CCCs The CCCs have been invited by the Upazilla Education offices to participate in preparing yearly plan. The concerned education officials have requested the CCCs to help them to form the School Management Committee (SMC); The CCCs obtained formal consent to work with two Primary Schools for turning them into “Islands of Integrity” in each area; Many facets of the local education system appeared to have acted on the CCC-designed recommendations.

25 TIB initiatives to curb corruption from Primary education: Success of CCCs TIB’s suggestions, voiced via CCCs, were taken seriously and changes to record-keeping systems were made as per CCC recommendations; the CCCs had 15 specific reform-oriented recommendations; CCCs have been successful in persuading school authorities to clearly specify the school tuition fees, the rate of stipends, and supplying books on time, at no extra cost to guardians.

It was made clear that the CCCs would continue to act as watchdogs for ensuring transparency and accountability; 26 Further Information Md. Sydur Rahman Molla Senior Programme Officer Research Department Transparency International Bangladesh Progress Tower (5th Floor), H # 01, R # 23, Gulshan –1, Dhaka –1212 PH: 880 2 9884811, 8826036, Fax: 880 2 9884811 Email: [email protected] org Web: www. ti-bangladesh. org 27 Thanks 28.


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