One of the biggest evils associated with the education sector has been the practice of parents bribing to get their children’s admittted to educational institutions. The Indian Corruption Study does not take into consideration bribes paid in recruitment, transfers and promotion of teachers.
The total monetary value of petty corruption in education (up to 12th) in the country is estimated to be Rs.4137 crore per year.
A total of 40% (8.2 crore) of households are estimated to have dealt with schools. Of them, 2.4 crore are urban households and 5.8 crore rural households. Of those interacting with educational institutions/ departments, 18% (1.5 crore households) claimed to have paid bribes. 19% (0.4 crore households) of the urban and 18% (1.1 crore households) of the rural households paid bribes.
The extent of corruption is much higher in case of states with low educational development
71% of all households having school going children are using government run schools. In rural areas, the dependence on government schools is higher at 77%.
71% of those who interacted with educational institutes had to make more than four visits to the department/institution. Of these, more than 34% needed to collect school leaving certificates.
21% respondents felt that very often mid-day meals in schools were either not provided or were of very poor quality.
40% of the respondents who used “alternative process” to get their work done belonged to the lower income group (up to 5,000 per month).
States were divided into three categories (High, Medium and Low) on education development index to understand if there was significant difference in the extent of corruption
High educational development states include
Himachal Pradesh- 1.423
Medium educational development states include
Tamil Nadu- 1.176
West Bengal- 1.127
Madhya Pradesh- 1.027
Low educational development states
Andhra Pradesh- 0.963
Uttar Pradesh- 0.853
Usage of government schools (up to 12th standard)
Overall, 71% of the households with school going children use government schools. Area-wise percentage of such households is 77 in rural and 56 in urban.
How many visits did you make?
71% of the respondents who interacted with educational institutes/ departments had to make four or more visits to the concerned educational institute / department to get their work done.
In case of private institutions, only about 50% had to make four or more visits.
More than half of the respondents making more than four visits to the educational institutes/ departments did so primarily to collect school leaving certificates.
Perceptions about the functioning of schools (upto 12th Std)
23% of those whose children are going to government educational institutions felt the quality of education to be poor.
In case of states, low on educational index, nearly one-third of the respondents felt the quality to be poor compared to only one-sixth in case of states that are high on educational index.
In case of private institutes, only 9% felt the quality to be poor.
7% of high education index states 8% of medium education states felt the quality of education to be very good.
Perception about the prevalence of corruption in schools
48% of those whose children are in government schools perceive them to be corrupt. This perception is much higher in case of states with low educational development index (62%) as against 33% in higher educational index states.
In Kerala, only 10% of those interacting with government schools felt that there
was corruption while in Bihar 79% felt so.
Common irregularities in school
Syllabus was not completed.
Teachers came to the class and just made one of the students to read aloud to the class without explaining anything.
Even at higher secondary level, science students were not given any practicals.
This was also the case even in some private schools.
No tests were given to the students.
In non-board examinations, teachers had full control over the examination results of students. This power was exploited by unscrupulous teachers in forcing students to take tuitions from them.
Experience of interaction with schools
19% of all households who had school-going children got their work done using “alternative method”. In case of states which are low on educational index, 30% use the alternative method. In Rajasthan and Bihar, considerably higher number of people used the alternative method, while in Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Assam the number was significantly lower.
Overall, 60% of those who used alternative method paid bribes. The practice was much lower in states high on educational index where only 40% paid bribes. The system was, however, relatively free of touts with only 3% of the respondents using touts to get their work done.
Extent of corruption
30% of households with school-going children said that they had never experienced corruption; the other 70% had experienced corruption at one time or the other in the last one-year.
What do people pay bribe for?
Schools typically request money from parents each year, allegedly to enhance educational programmes, repair/maintain school buildings, and obtain equipment and supplies, etc. Parents typically comply fearing retribution toward their students. There is little or no feedback to parents on how these out-of-budget funds were actually used. Issuance of certificates like school leaving certificate, merit certificate, etc. also quite often involves payment beyond prescribed amount.
Value of Corruption
40% (8.2 crore) of households are estimated to be interacting with schools and/or education department.
18% (1.5 crore) of the households who interact with schools paid bribes. In case of urban, 19% (0.4 crore households) and in rural 18 per cent (1.1 crore households) paid bribes.
The average outflow per household due to corruption is estimated to be Rs. 2744 per year.
Suggestions for reducing corruption in schools
Menace of private tutoring
Facilitating regulations for registrating private schools
Making teachers and school administration accountable
Overcharging of fees
Source: India Corruption Study 2005