Strengthening Integrity and Fighting Corruption in Education

Strengthening Integrity and Fighting Corruption in Education

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13 sep 2012
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9789264179646 (PDF) ;9789264179639(imprimé)

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Education matters. It is a gateway to prosperity of individuals and economies alike.
Integrity in education matters too. Corruption hinders prosperity, causes long-term damage to societies, and diminishes the efficiency of investment in their human potential.

Driven by the insight that corruption in education can undermine even the best of intentions, the Republic of Serbia requested the OECD to assess the integrity of its education system – to collect evidence on shortcomings and strengths, to provide a forecast of corruption incidence, and to identify solutions for closing the gaps. This first of its kind integrity report seeks to give pragmatic answers to these queries and support authorities and stakeholders in taking informed decisions on how to strengthen integrity and prevent corruption in the sector. It uses a novel methodology for assessing the integrity of education systems (INTES) to identify the underlying causes of malpractice, and point out areas in need of attention.

The report gives a brief overview of education in Serbia and provides a note on the overall integrity climate in the country (Chapter 1). It moves on to identify issues that affect the capacity of the system to ensure fair access (Chapter 2) and deliver satisfactory quality (Chapter 3), to manage resources and staff diligently and professionally (Chapter 4) and to prevent and detect malpractice and corruption (Chapter 5). Chapter 6 contains the recommendations and suggestions for follow-up. 

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  • Foreword
    Education matters. Integrity in education matters too – corrupt schools and universities hinder prosperity, cause long-term damage to societies and raise the cost of education at the expense of equity and quality.
  • Acronyms
  • Executive Summary
    This first Integrity of Education Systems (INTES) country assessment was undertaken at the request of the Ministry of Education and Science of Serbia, following presentations of the assessment methodology to the Steering Group of the OECD Anti-Corruption Network for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ACN), and discussions with the OECD Secretariat at regional meetings of the Education Reform Initiative of South Eastern Europe, which Serbia is currently chairing.
  • INTES and Report Rationale
    This assessment was requested by the Minister of Education and Science, Zarko Obradovic, following presentations of the Integrity of Education Systems (INTES) project to the Steering Group of the OECD Anti-Corruption Network for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ACN), and discussions with the OECD Secretariat at regional meetings of the Education Reform Initiative of South Eastern Europe. Serbia is the first country to request a peer review based assessment of the integrity of its education system.
  • Overview
    This chapter gives an overview of the general policy and integrity climate in Serbia. It takes note of the socio-economic profile of the country and the structure of the education system, and presents a brief outline of existing evidence on integrity and corruption in the education sector.
  • Fair Access to Education
    This chapter identifies factors driving demand for better and fairer access to education, lists those enabling malpractice, and uncovers the challenging consequences for the integrity of all points of transition in the education system that are linked to access (and success) in tertiary education.
  • Better Quality of Education
    The chapter discusses inefficiencies in classroom learning and stakeholder distrust, which create the need for remedial lessons and fuel the proliferation of private tutoring as a widespread, commonly accepted solution for difficult subjects, before exam sessions, and in preparation of admission exams. It notes that private tutoring practices at pre-university level are motivated by a wide range of factors that are, for the most part, not illegal and underlines the inherent integrity risk they carry, fuelled also by the absence of professional codes of conduct and weaknesses in the inspection system.
  • Staff Policies and Management of Resources
    The chapter directs the focus of assessment to the education institutions – to staff and resource policies which are the backbone of institutional operation and to shortcomings in these policies and their implementation that could be decisive in creating or eliminating incentives for malpractice. Particular attention is paid to education financing, financial accountability and employment policies for teachers and principals.
  • Capacity For Prevention and Detection
    This chapter analyses gaps in the anti-corruption framework of Serbia, on both sector and national levels, that could create opportunity for corruption or lead to failure in detecting it. It discusses prevention and detection capacity in education and looks also into issues such as criminalisation of corruption and the work of specialised anti-corruption bodies and mechanisms such as the National Anti-Corruption Agency, and the relevance of their work for the education sector.
  • Recommendations and Follow-Up
    The last chapter of this report contains recommendations and suggestions for follow-up in all four dimensions of integrity assessment: access, quality of education, sound management of staff and resources and prevention and detection capacity on sector and national levels.
  • Summary of main recommendations for a follow-up
  • Follow-up measures of the Serbian authorities undertaken after the INTES assessment
  • Preliminary integrity scan (prints) of the Serbian education system
    Education is a complex system with a multitude of actors. Which of its parts lack integrity and which actors are corrupt, to what extent and why is seldom known with certainty. The quest for answers starts in the knowledge that, potentially, all areas and actors might be affected.
  • Indicators on private tutoring in European Union countries
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