|The first meeting of the Regional Working Group on Corruption and Education, established by UNESCO and UNDP, was held on December 4-5, 2003, in Paris. Representatives of state institutions and non-governmental organizations from Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania and Poland and representatives of the International Institute for Educational Planning, UNDP Bratislava, UNODC Vienna, OECD, OSCE Belgrade and the TI Secretariat in Berlin took part in the meeting.|
The meeting of the regional group was organized in two sessions. The first was dedicated to the problems of anticorruption education in the region. Anticorruption education is perceived a component of each national anticorruption strategy of the countries from the region. Another common feature is that the initiative of the introduction of anticorruption education at university level was took up by the non-governmental sector. The practical steps and activities however were launched by various actors and at different levels at the different countries.
Mr. Konstantin Palikarski, Secretary of the Commission for Coordination of Activity for Combat with Corruption, presented the work of the Commission and the measures undertaken regarding anticorruption education for civil servants in particular. Dr. Zhivka Damyanova, coordinator of the Anticorruption Education expert group within the framework of Coalition 2000 presented the Anticorruption education manual, which served as a basic tuition tool in the anticorruption courses in some Bulgarian universities, and the program of Coalition 2000 for the preparation of a curriculum for anticorruption education in the secondary schools, as well as the experience in initiating extracurricular lessons in anticorruption as a result of the partnership between local non-governmental organizations and the local authorities.
The first steps in the introduction of anticorruption education were made in Slovakia thanks to the active joint efforts of TI-Bratislava and the state institutions. Specialized tools were published for the secondary education, including an Anticorruption manual, pedagogical materials adapted for the respective audience, video-tapes, role-plays and case studies. So far, about 300 training courses were organized for teachers in the whole country. Currently, the first pilot projects for anticorruption education in the secondary school are implemented. Since the academic year 2002 – 2003, specialized courses on Anticorruption strategies in the economy are lead at the university level at the Faculty of corporate management and on What Citizens Should Know About Corruption at the Faculty of Pedagogy.
In Lithuania and Croatia, the activities regarding anticorruption education are still at an initial phase: awareness campaigns, preparation of methodological and practical programs etc. Common difficulties confront the non-governmental organizations from Poland and the Czech Republic, mainly due to the lack of transparency in the state administration.
The problem of corruption within the educational system is common for the whole region, which became evident from the data on the levels of corruption in the different countries, presented by the country representatives during the second session of the meeting of the Regional working group. With minor distinctions and national characteristics, corruption practices in the educational systems in the countries are alike, as much as the educational systems resemble each other.
The following recommendations were agreed upon:
1. All documents – reports, analyses, sociological surveys etc., presented during the first meeting of the Regional working group on corruption in education, should be published in a specialized website, which will represent the Diagnostics of the problem in the region.
2. The second meeting of the group should be held with the participation of the Ministers of Education of the countries.
3. The possibility for the translation in English of the Anticorruption education manual, elaborated and published by Coalition 2000 in November 2003, should be explored, as well as of the Manual of Transparency International - Slovakia.
4. The best practices in the sphere of public-private partnership for anticorruption education should be published.
5. Ethic codes should be elaborated and training should be provided to teachers and university lecturers in view of curbing corruption within the educational systems.
In conclusion, all country representatives expressed their support towards the initiative of UNDP and UNESCO to establish of a perennial working group for fighting corruption in the region through anticorruption education.