TITLE: Transparency and Accountability for High Quality Education in West Africa (TAHQEWA)
DONOR: Open Society Foundation for West Africa (OSIWA) via Transparency International Secretariat (TI-S)
DURATION: October 2015 – March 2017
LOCATION: Ghana (national and in 6 districts), Niger and Cote d’Ivoire
Overall, the programme seeks to build transparency and accountability in the education systems of three West African countries – Ghana, Niger and Cote d’Ivoire.
In Ghana, the aim is to identify corruption risk areas and challenges as well as the application of effective measures to counter the risks and challenges.
The main project objectives therefore are:
- Promote a culture of zero tolerance for corruption in the education sector
- Trigger social demand for transparency and accountability in education systems
Corruption and poor governance is a major impediment to realizing the right to education and to falling short of reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Corruption not only distorts access to education, but affects the quality of education. Needless to add that corruption is ultimately threat to sustainable socio-economic growth and development in Africa. Conversely, education serves as a means to strengthen personal integrity and is essential for addressing corruption effectively.
Fighting corruption in education systems requires a commitment to high quality education that is available to all. To this end, it is necessary to have policy information that is clear and easy to understand. National, district and school and university budgets need to be published in detail so that citizens can monitor how resources are allocated and utilised. It is important to have clear regulations controlling education finance and management. Furthermore, social accountability and public engagement in the management of school resources has also been recognized as a meaningful way to tackling corruption.
GII works to bring about change in the education sector through empowerment of district level community groups as well as through a concerted national effort to engage with stakeholders and inform the public of the main corruption risks in the sector. To that effect, GII has undertaken a Stakeholder & Political Will Analysis and has used it as a basis to produce a short documentary titled The Future at Stake: Corruption Risks in Ghana’s Education sector.
At the local level, GII is engaging mainly Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) and School Management Committees (SMCs) to build their capacity to monitor the financial and overall management of schools in selected districts throughout Ghana. This is done through GII’s Community Based Monitoring & Evaluation Teams (CoBMETs)
Furthermore, in pursuing its main objective of zero tolerance for corruption, GII has established 12 Integrity Clubs in 6 districts of Ghana. These clubs aim to inculcate a behaviour in the youth grounded in the principles of transparency and accountability
The project has generated new knowledge and timely evidence on the type of corruption most likely to affect the education sector. Furthermore, the project to date has solidified and strengthened GII’s relationship with important actors in the education and governance sector more broadly. For instance, GII works closely with the Ghana Education Service (GES) in setting up its CoBMETs. Each CoBMET has members of GES actively involved in the club. In addition to GES, the project has also greatly strengthened the cooperation with the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE). In setting up its Integrity Clubs GII collaborated with NCCE to draw upon the existing Civic Clubs which are present throughout Ghana.
Following the launch of the documentary in January 2017, GII has secured a public commitment from the Ghana Education Service who are prepared to take GII’s recommendations on board and is willing to further discuss ways in which corruption in education can be minimized.
The establishment of Integrity Clubs in six districts has been welcomed overwhelmingly by NCCE. CHRAJ. GES and other key public sector actors. Feedback from participants at GII’s events including the most recent documentary launch indicates a hope that the concept can be replicated elsewhere as a means to promote learning about integrity and anti-corruption.
Snapshots of launch of integrity clubs (Facebook)