Getting young people involved in combating diploma buying and other forms of corruption

“Corruption, including in the education field, is extremely widespread virtually everywhere in Europe and has already led to too many young people becoming resigned to this fact. It is essential for our societies to get young people involved in the fight against corruption by means of an awareness-raising campaign and, above all, by providing them with the practical means to combat corrupt practices,” said Eleonora Cimbro (Italy, SOC), rapporteur on “Youth against corruption” at a hearing held in Paris on 1 June by the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media.

“Corruption in the education sector can be seen in a wide range of areas, such as the purchase of diplomas and qualifications, with the appearance of veritable “diploma factories”, the funding of education staff and students through bursaries, the textbook market, the accreditation of schools, etc. Diploma buying is extremely demotivating for young people and results in a devaluing of their qualifications,” said Muriel Poisson of Unesco’s International Institute for Educational Planning.

“There are many forms of corruption: teachers who do not cover the syllabus so that they can have private lessons for which they charge, students obliged to pay fees to sit entrance exams, non-existent schools and teachers, misappropriation of funds regarding the block grant per pupil,” added Boris Divjak of the U4 anti-corruption resource centre in Norway who concluded by saying that “it is essential that young people get involved if we are to put an end to corruption.”