The cost of corruption is in education is high. Stolen resources from education budgets mean overcrowded classrooms and crumbling schools, or no schools at all. Books and supplies are sometimes sold instead of being given out freely. Schools and universities also ‘sell’ school places or charge unauthorised fees, forcing students to drop out. Teachers and lecturers are appointed through family connections, without qualifications. The end result is limited access to and poor quality of education.
Since its inception in 2000, PTF and its affiliates have provided grants for 22 projects in education, including 9 in Africa. The projects addressed problems of governance, poor transparency and corruption in four main areas: (i) use of school resources; (ii) school construction; (iii) procurement and delivery of textbooks and other school supplies; and (iv) professional misconduct related to student admissions, examinations and teacher hiring. See more information and project examples at ptfund.org.
In Cameroon, PTF supported three university projects from 2009-2011 implemented by a local CSO, IGI-FITCAM. The objective was to raise awareness of, and track and curb corruption. Activities included strengthening newly formed anti-corruption and ethics committees, raising awareness of the problems incurred by corruption, launching a new strategy for fighting corruption within the university and holding public meetings allowing for wider public support. These projects met their prime objectives.
With PTF support, SAVE Ghana targeted chronic teacher absenteeism, the practice of having “ghost teachers” on the payroll, schools collecting school fees from parents which the central government already pays, and the practice of teachers taking their students to the teacher’s farms and making the students work on the farms for the teachers. The project was carried out through engaging, organizing, educating, energizing and focusing local authorities, parent-teacher associations, school management committees on teacher absenteeism and corruption through meetings and workshops. The project assisted the government in eliminating 7 “ghost” teachers, and that will save the government about Ghc 84,000 per annum, about 44,000 U.S. dollars. SAVE-Ghana projects that for the targeted schools, teacher absenteeism has or will be reduced from 57% to about 25%.
See more information and project examples at ptfund.org.