Back-to-school: Bribery, corruption on the rise in public schools

According to an international report, Global Corruption Report by Transparency International, corruption in education is a serious blight that undermines the quality and availability of schools and universities around the world.

In recent years, the buying of school placements and the falsification of important documents like Report Cards, have become distressingly common practices in some educational institutions. School authorities might be requiring parents to pay a fee for a school place that should be free.

Some parents complain they have not been able to register their kids in school because they were not able to bribe the child’s way in.

“I am forced to send my child to a private school which is very expensive. When I went to one of the public schools around my area here, I was told there was no space for the child. Most of my friends say I was supposed to go with some money to give the school for them to reserve a space for my child which to me is not normal,” one of the parents cried out.

Going by a civil society activist Ntang Julius, parents have a responsibility to teach their children the right moral values and not the reverse.

“Parents use their money and power to ensure the promotion of their children. It does not speak well for the child’s career. These parents actually pay this with the knowledge of their children and it instills in them that spirit of bribery and corruption which is not actually good in the vision of the emergence of the child. Some parents even give school needs like benches and books for the registration of their children,” the social activist told CNA.

He further stated that some pay for their children to be promoted without a passing average; “It encourages the child to be lazy without encouraging excellence. It shows the child that he needs to work with money in certain instances to be able to succeed. The number of places that the government has put in place for a class is at times 60. When the admission goes up to this number, they always turn down any other admission application, some administrators turn behind and collect money from parents in order to admit their children,”.

On the other hand, he said that some parents are sometimes forced to bribe because of the high fees in private schools compared to that of public schools.

Reports from the National Anti-corruption Commission, CONAC, suggested that the corruption phenomenon in the education sector is at its peak during the start of each academic year when admissions begin. As such, the commission Chairperson Dr. Dieudonné Massi Gams launches sensitization campaigns at the start of every school year. This campaign is aimed at restoring the education sector of the Cameroon system.

The Cameroon Tribune report of August 2022, mentioned figures of a CONAC survey indicating that there is corruption in 6 out of 10 elementary schools, 7 out of 10 secondary schools, and about 8 out of 10 universities.

Source: Cameroon News Agency