OECD report: Corruption rife in education
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.