Quiet corruption has been identified as one of the major unethical conducts destroying and stultifying the growth of the education sector.
The alarm of the menace was raised by the Human Development Initiative (HDI) after a pilot study revealed prevalence of quiet corruption in public schools in Lagos State.
Disclosing their findings during one-day media round table held recently in Yaba, Lagos, Olayemi Samuel, the HDI research officer said quiet corruption is such a big cankerworm destroying education, yet attracts little attention.
“Corruption is more than just the payment of bribes or kick-backs. Just as damaging and perhaps more pervasive in the lives of Africa’s poorest people, is the problem of quiet corruption. And sadly quiet corruption does not make the headlines the way bribery scandals do, but it is just as corrosive to schools and societies in general.
“Here in Nigeria, quiet corruption is aimed to make profit, and some examples are purchase of text books for marks, extra-morals organized by teachers, extortion of students for structural materials and services already paid for by government.
And some of the factors that fuel quiet corrupt practices in schools are poor remuneration of teachers, weak and lack of monitoring mechanism for individuals to report the complain. Others include lack of political will, poverty, poor value system and no technological facilities like CCTVs to help provide proof and evidence against culprits of quiet corruption.”
According to Olayemi, the data was gathered through qualitative and quantitative method which involved the use of questioners and discussion.
“We sampled students, parents and teachers in Lagos primary and secondary schools as well as tertiary institutions. And they all attested that quiet corruption is pervasive in public education sector.”
Another speaker, Dr. Olayinka Akanle from the Department of Sociology, University of Ibadan spoke on the strategy document for curbing quiet corruption in the education sector.
“In fighting quiet corruption, there is need for increased public awareness and campaigns. Government should move to develop anti-graft strategies to monitor our schools and sanitize the education system.”