Resolution on Combating Mismanagement and Corruption in Education

published 23 July 2004 updated 31 March 2017

The Fourth World Congress of Education International (EI), held in Porto Alegre, Brazil, from 22 to 26 July 2004:

1. Notes that mismanagement and corruption tend to develop at several levels in our societies, in both the private and public sectors, with an adverse impact on the economy, social activities and education.

2. Recalls the major scandals - recently brought to the notice of the public - that have erupted in several multinational companies (unsound investments, embezzlement, false financial statements, etc.) with particularly negative consequences for employment and pensions of many workers within the education sector.

3. Recalls the situations witnessed in a number of developing countries where loans granted by international or regional financial institutions for projects, which are poorly planned and/or mismanaged and/or misappropriated for personal motives, have much too often resulted in resounding failures. The serious financial consequences burden the economies of these countries for many years, increasing their unproductive public deficits, which put a break on the development of education.

Furthermore, Congress

4. Considers that in tackling the issue of mismanagement and corruption in relation to education, two key aims should be distinguished: it is essential, first, to combat mismanagement and corruption wherever they are present in the education sector; but education should also be used as a means of combating corruption at all levels in our societies. Citizenship requires respect for education as a common good and the need to give meaning to the public good which must be common to all.

5. Notes that the media often report unacceptable situations involving corrupt teachers in educational establishments that engage in dubious practices, in countries where those in managing positions and in responsible roles are corrupt themselves and give the example. This situation also results from teachers' disastrous working and material conditions.

6. Considers that in most cases the degree of corruption found among teachers is directly linked to the degree of corruption of those in governing positions, of the economic and administrative structures of the countries concerned, which implies that a successful struggle against corruption in the education sector necessarily involves ensuring that the above-mentioned structures function in a democratic and transparent way; countries in the North bear heavy responsibility in the introduction of corruption in these structures.

7. Considers that a precondition for successfully combating corrupt practices among teaching staff, head teachers and education workers in general is the provision of adequate salaries enabling all education personnel to make a decent living from their regular work; that transparent and democratic functioning of decision structures is essential if corruption is to be stopped

8. Considers that mismanagement and corruption in the education sector can be eradicated or significantly reduced through a genuine social dialogue in a concerted framework in which representative trade unions are heard and recognised by the authorities. This framework of dialogue and/or negotiation, whose operation is based on transparency and democracy.

9. Considers that making teachers and education staff more aware of the issues involved in corrupt practices and their harmful effects is something that should be carried out in the context of these workers' initial and further training and should form part of their professional ethics.

10. Considers, lastly, that the activities aimed at increasing students and pupils' awareness of these issues should be carried out through programmes which are effectively integrated in human rights education and education to citizenship, that stress that money is not the only value that should motivate our society, that laws must be enforced, and that the corrupt must be severely punished.

The Congress therefore:

11. Calls on the international and regional financial institutions to consult all stakeholders, particularly teachers' unions, when drawing up, implementing and monitoring any projects financed with the aim of preventing mismanagement and corruption.

12. Calls on the Executive Board to pursue its discussions with intergovernmental organisations such as UNESCO, the World Bank and the OECD in order to tackle these serious problems and put together proposals for remedial action within the framework of an inter-agency group with the active involvement of EI.

13. Calls on all affiliates to give attention, as a matter of some priority, to mismanagement and corruption issues in their respective countries and to include these issues in professional and trade union training activities.

14. Calls on the Secretariat to strengthen EI's links with the NGO Transparency International and to examine the possibility of developing joint programmes with it.