By Emmanuel Edukugho
THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday gave insight into how corruption in the nationâ€™s educational sector had weakened the sector, leading to low efficiency, wastage and misappropriation of resources, low quality service delivery.
Head, Strategy and Reorientation Unit of EFCC, Mr. Gabriel Aduda, who spoke at the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU),Â Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED) Chapterâ€™s maidenÂ Â International Conference on â€œCorruption in the Academia and the State of Education in Africa, noted that the ills were classified into different levels of occurrence such as policy level, Ministry/state and local government level, schools and administrative levels, in which various forms of corruption are existing.
For him, corruption in education was a major hindrance to achieving the second Millennium Development Goals of comprehensive primary school education for all the worldâ€™s children by 2015.
Mr. Aduda said the effects of corruption on the education sector were extensive and damaging because it endangers a countryâ€™s social, economic and political future.
He submitted that where personal effort and merit do not count and success comes through manipulation, favouritism and bribery, then the very foundations of society are shaken.
According to him: â€œCorruption in education affects more people than corruption in other sectors, both in rural and urban areas basically because schools are the breeding grounds for future generations. Corruption threatens equal access, quantity and quality of education.
Its consequences are particularly harsh for the poor who, without access to education or with no alternative but low-quality education have limited or no hope of escaping life of poverty, especially in a certificate crazy society like ours. Corruption admission arrangement mean that the best students may not get admitted after all. Corrupt promotion policies mean that the best minds are not rewarded, and that many will not even wish to be part of the academic community as a result. Funds are misused and the result is that libraries and laboratories remain ill equipped.â€
Tor curb corruption in the academia, he called for, among other things, a systematic overhauling of the educational system by strengthening regulatory systems and management. Re-introduction of civic education from primary to the general studies in the tertiary institution. Integration of values curriculum developed by CPC and NERDC in 2003. Introduction of Role Modeling, Improved funding and incentives for the education sector and adequate provision of basic infrastructure.
Comrade Adeyemi Adesanya, Chairman COEASU,Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education chapter, said the theme of the conference is not only timely but also suggests that the academic environment should also look inward to identifying areas where necessary amends should be carried out.
he pleaded with all those attending the conference including representatives of government agencies, parastatals to put the outcome of this conference into meaningful use.
Adesanya noted attempts being made by the government at improving on the funding of education at various levels.
â€œWe consider the increase in the percentage allocated to education in the past few yeas by the federal government as commendable even though it still falls short of the quantum required by the provisions of UNESCOP.â€ He praised Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State for his support for education and infrastructural development in the state.
National President of COEASU, Mohammed Awwal Ibrahim, said that broadly, the spectrum of corruption in the academia should be examined in fourfold, the act of corruption as emanating from the academic administrators, the one emanating and supported by the academics themselves (lecturers and teachers), the roles students splay and the contribution of the larger society. â€œThe synergy of these four constitutes the formidable phenomenon called corruption in the academia.â€