OECD re­port: Cor­rup­tion rife in ed­u­ca­tion

Kyiv Post - - Lifestyle - BY OLENA GONCHAROVA [email protected]

In Ukraine, ed­u­ca­tion is per­ceived as a very cor­rupt sec­tor, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est re­port by the Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment (OECD), pub­lished on April 13.

Petty cor­rup­tion, which is con­tin­u­ing to fes­ter at all lev­els, in­cludes gain­ing pref­er­en­tial ac­cess to school and pre-school ed­u­ca­tion through giv­ing fa­vors and bribes, the mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion of parental con­tri­bu­tions to schools, paid sup­ple­men­tary tu­tor­ing by class­room teach­ers, text­book pro­cure­ment fraud and cheat­ing in ex­ams in higher ed­u­ca­tion.

The OECD re­port also stressed there is a short­age of en­roll­ment ca­pac­ity.

But Ukraine’s Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Liliya Hrynevych says her team is al­ready work­ing to re­solve such is­sues.

Last year, Hrynevych’s team added 26,500 places in preschool ed­u­ca­tion cen­ters by build­ing new kinder­gartens and ren­o­vat­ing old ones.

“It all be­came pos­si­ble with fi­nan­cial de­cen­tral­iza­tion, hence lo­cal bud­gets in­creased,” the min­is­ter ex­plained. “Still, 75,000 chil­dren are wait­ing for places in kinder­gartens. Though if we keep up the same pace, we’ll fill in this gap.”

The OECD also pointed out that parental do­na­tions to schools and pre-schools “are at high risk of mis­use through fraud­u­lent in­voic­ing.” The re­port rec­om­mends ex­pand­ing the le­gal rights of par­ents to over­see how do­na­tions are man­aged and used.

Hrynevych said that, with a pro­posed new law on ed­u­ca­tion, which passed by par­lia­ment in the first read­ing, school prin­ci­pals will be obliged to pub­lish their ex­penses - those they got from the state bud­get as well as those from par­ents.

The Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry has been try­ing to elim­i­nate “forced tu­tor­ing” by class­room teach­ers for stu­dents who lag be­hind their peers. “It’s a shame­ful prac­tice,” Hrynevych said.

For se­nior stu­dents, schools will nar­row the ranges of re­quired sub­jects, al­low stu­dents to pur­sue ar­eas of aca­demic in­ter­est where they have the best scores.

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