A research on “Corruption risk at the basic education Level and the likely impact on achieving the SDGs 4 and 16”, has cited misappropriation of resources and abuse of the system as the main corruption behaviour in the country’s basic education sector.
This was disclosed at a restitution meeting and awareness campaign on the research, organised by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) in collaboration with the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC), with funding support from Transparency International.
The research was the outcome of the “Africa Education Network Multi Countries Collective actions to improving the Quality of the basic Education Programme in Africa: Rwanda – Uganda and Ghana”.
The GII Rwanda and Uganda Chapters of Transparency International are implementing the project in their respective countries.
The project seeks to gather evidence and inform advocacy activities anticipated to support the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically, Goal 4, related to quality of education and SDG 16 – Peace, Justice and strong institutions.
Professor Seidu Al-Hassan, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Central Administration, University for Development Studies and a Researcher for the Project, said Ghana has the resources to change the fortune of the education sector, yet, how to utilize it to the benefit of all becomes a big challenge.
He said some of their findings include transgressing rules/procedures; inflation of costs and activities in budget estimates and embezzlement.
Others include favouritism, nepotism, bribes, bypassing criteria, discrimination, fraud in public tendering, collusion among suppliers, manipulating data and ghost deliveries, among others.
Prof Al-Hassan said diversion of education resources and denying the sector of quality would lead to inadequate educational infrastructure and facilities as well as reduction in quality of education and inadequate supply of teaching and learning materials.
He said for the country to attain the SDGs 4 and 16, there should be a combination approach to address corruption in Ghana, and bring in faith-based institutions to partner the already existing ones to fight the issues.
He said: “The fight has to start with the individuals, whereby we will change our attitude towards corrupt practices and tell ourselves enough is enough” because the judicial system, which is supposed to punish offenders, is equally guilty of corrupt practices and has lost the public trust.
He, therefore, urged the 50-Member Inter-Ministerial Committee for implementation of SDGs to “sit up” and do what they have been tasked to do effectively to achieve results.
Government should create many economic and social opportunities for all people, irrespective of age, gender, religion, physical ability or socio economic status, he said.
Mrs. Mary A. Addah, GII Programme Coordinator, called for the identification of the targets for SDGs 4 and mainstream each target to achieve the necessary results.