Campaign: Curbing Corruption in the Education Sector

Activity: Awareness seminar and interactive session

Partner/implementing NGO: Kuchlak Welfare Society (KWS)

Venue: Shalimar Guest House, District Ziarat (Balochistan)

Through our partner Kuchlak Welfare Society (KWS) in Quetta, Balochistan, TI Pakistan carried out a seminar against corruption in the education sector in the district of Ziarat. This one-day event was held on 6th October, 2012.

The program started with a recitation of The Holy Qu’ran. Ms. Shahnaz Dar (CEO-KWS) was the main presenter of the seminar. While other members of the organization, namely Mr. Malik Abdul Rashid Kakar (Chairman-KWS), Mr. Usman Ali Shamim Rajput (Programme Officer-KWS) and other members of the supportive staff were also present at the occasion. The event attracted 79 people, males and females, from different walks of life. The different departments being represented were education, health, community leaders, students, and indigenous community. Due to the tribal culture, the women participated lesser than their male counterparts. The event also received a great deal of positive attention from print media.

The seminar consisted of Ms. Dar delivering an interactive lecture for two hours. The lecture focused on the importance of education in our communities and then went on to the identification and reporting of ghost schools. The following questions (which were also present in the handout made by TI Pakistan) were also explained and then discussed with the participants:

  • Is there a government school in your area where teachers are not punctual?
  • Is there a government school in your area
  • which has been closed for many years?
  • Is there a government school in your area which is functioning by those people whose sole purpose is to pursue their own interests?
  • Is there a government school in your area that receives funds but lacks basic facilities?
  • The participants were active and contributed to the discussions with fervour. They said their children were studying under Juniper trees all year round because their schools lacked basic facilities such as boundary walls, chairs, tables, clean drinking water, and electricity. They claimed that despite the visit of the District Education Officer, the educational department was not taking this issue seriously. Some participants argued that nothing was being done as the children of well-to-do people, including government teachers, were getting an education in private schools. “Poor families, such as ours, are not in a position to bear the high costs of private institutions,” they protested.

    They further added that even if they were to file a complaint against the people responsible, their own community would not support them for fear of being hassled by the influential individuals in the area. One parent shared an example of their child’s school where there was a science laboratory, but no equipment. At the end of the seminar, the participants thanked KWS for arranging this seminar. They added that they were very glad that they now had a trustworthy place to file complaints against ghost schools and/or ghost staff.