Niger campaigns against fake teachers, school corruption

Niger campaigns against fake teachers, school corruption

The cost of corruption in Niger? Four billion CFA francs (US $8 million) in lost education funds, almost a thousand fake teachers, and many thousands of rural schoolchildren taking classes on the floor because benches and tables aren’t delivered.

Corruption affects several aspects and phases of public education, from school construction and maintenance and procurement of text books to the recruitment, selection and appointment of teachers and the falsification of diplomas.

No wonder Niger’s literacy rate is under 30 per cent, leaving its next generation, especially the more than two million primary school-age children, bereft of opportunities for the future.

The Transparency International chapter in Niger (the Association Nigérienne de Lutte contre la Corruption) has launched a public campaign to tackle this issue head-on and make the government in Niamey, the country’s capital, take action against corruption.

Corruption in Niger’s education system

Until now, this action has been sorely lacking. The trial of two former Education Ministers and several high-ranking civil servants before the High Court for embezzlement of school funding - the high profile MEBA affair (MEBA is the education ministry) - continues to be delayed.

From 1996 – 2004, less than half of Niger’s children were enrolled in primary school. This “lost decade”, contributes to high youth unemployment today. With the state unable to pay regular salaries to teachers, many started offering fake certificates in exchange for money. This practice has become so common that even shopkeepers sell “faux diplômes”.

In 2011, the Ministry of National Education, Literacy and the Promotion of National Languages acknowledged that they had detected 338 fake diplomas. We believe the real number is almost three times as high.

The qualification to get a fake diploma ? A bribe. The motivation ? A dysfunctional public service – in our opinion. In 2008 the director of examinations at the Education ministry was arrested for accepting bribes.

All this leaves children with second-class schooling, and teacher absenteeism, something Transparency International research throughout the region has identified as a big contributor to lower education levels. In Niger some schools were not visited even once a year by any inspector. 100 per cent of schools had either no or incomplete financial documentation.

11 per cent of parents report paying registration fees.

7 per cent of head teachers know how much public resources their school can expect from the government.

Transparency International’s Niger chapter has received many complaints about corruption in education at its legal advice centre. It hopes the campaign will pressure public authorities to do more to prevent fraud, and encourage citizens to report it when they see it in the classroom.

Transparency International’s education campaign in Niger

You wouldn’t want your child treated by an unqualified doctor. Would you be happy that they are taught to read and write by an unqualified teacher? This is the message Transparency International’s Niger chapter wants to bring to its fellow citizens.

74 per cent of Niger’s schools do not display financial information
78 per cent of parents in Niger have not asked to see financial information, mostly because they did not know they could
Source: Africa Education Watch, a report on poor management in the education system of seven African countries.

The message of the campaign is that everyone has a role to play to address and control corruption in public education: the country’s state and regional administrations, pupils’ parents, the schools management and teachers, the pupils and students themselves

The campaign will involve debates, public talks, street theatre and networking with media, parents and teachers.

Resources

More pictures of the campaign, and a French version of this article, are available on Transparency International's blog, Facebook and Google Plus.

At a global level, Transparency International is doing more and more to focus on corruption in education. Our next Global Corruption Report will tackle it. In the meantime, we want to hear
from you: Have you ever experienced abuse of power in schools? How would you fight back?

All Images Courtesy of Association Nigérienne de Lutte contre la Corruption

For any press enquiries please contact press@transparency.org

Latest

Support Transparency International

Support Us

Next week governments can take a step to close down secrecy jurisdictions. Will they?

National financial regulators attending the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary in Paris 16 – 21 February have the opportunity to significantly reduce money laundering, corruption and terror financing. They must not squander the opportunity.

Why don’t the victims of bribery share in the record-breaking Airbus settlement?

Last Friday, French, UK and US authorities announced that Airbus would pay record penalties for foreign bribery. Notably absent in the agreements are any plans to share the penalty payment with the countries where the company was paying bribes.

Nadie es perfecto

Los países con las puntuaciones más altas en el IPC, como Dinamarca, Suiza e Islandia, no son inmunes a la corrupción. Si bien el IPC muestra que los sectores públicos en estos países están entre los menos corruptos del mundo, la corrupción existe, especialmente en casos de lavado de dinero y otras formas de corrupción en el sector privado.

مشكلة في الأعلى

Переполох на верху

Страны с самым высоким рейтингом по ИВК, такие как Дания, Швейцария и Исландия, не защищены от коррупции. Хотя ИВК показывает, что государственный сектор в этих странах является одним из самых чистых в мире, коррупция все еще существует, особенно в случаях отмывания денег и другой коррупции в частном секторе.

Problèmes au sommet

Les pays les mieux classés sur l’IPC comme le Danemark, la Suisse et l’Islande ne sont pas à l’abri de la corruption. Bien que l’IPC montre que les secteurs publics de ces pays sont parmi les moins corrompus au monde, la corruption existe toujours, en particulier dans les cas de blanchiment d’argent et d’autres formes de corruption du secteur privé.

Индекс восприятия коррупции 2019

Индекс восприятия коррупции 2019 года выявил, что огромное число стран практически не показывает улучшения в борьбе с коррупцией. Наш анализ также показывает, что сокращение больших денег в политике и содействие инклюзивному принятию политических решений необходимы для сдерживания коррупции.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media