Call for action to fight corruption in higher education

Corruption is rife in Madagascan higher education – including students bribing their teachers. Students should be educated about the problem and how to combat it, delegates were told at a conference on ‘Strengthening integrity and fighting corruption in higher education’.

The event was organised by the higher education institution Ecole Supérieure de Développement Economique et Social, or ES-DES (Graduate School for Economic and Social Development), and BIANCO, the Independent Anti-Corruption Bureau, reported Midi-Madagasikara.

Manjaka Rakoto Davida, ES-DES head of communications, described many corrupt offences, both ‘active and passive’, that had been committed in the sector – involving professional abuse, abuse of influence, unlawful gifts, favouritism and conflicts of interest.

Davida said that “students could bribe their teachers to obtain better grades or admission to a higher class.

“Other students could even buy their degree, especially to get a professional reclassification or obtain a better-paid management post. To avoid all that, we are calling on BIANCO for students to be made aware, and educated, about fighting against corruption.”

He told the conference the ES-DES and BIANCO had collaborated for some time and that “our directors and our teachers have already been trained [by BIANCO] in the fight against corruption”.

Midi-Madagasikara reported that ES-DES, which has branches in 17 regions of the country, specialises in teaching students to develop or set up their own enterprises, training a reservoir of tomorrow’s leaders – “which confirms why it is important to teach these students never to be tempted by corruption from the start of their university education,” it quoted Hanitriniaina Eléa Chilo, the chief executive officer of ES-DES, as telling the conference.

“And, like the practical courses taken by our students, their participation in a conference such as this, as well as the training programmes given by our partners, BIANCO and others, will be included in their examinations. So they will soon be assessed on the fight against corruption,” said Chilo. – Compiled by Jane Marshall.

This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.