Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Campaign: Curbing Corruption in the Education Sector

Activity: Awareness seminar and interactive session

Partner/implementing NGO: Community Research and Development Organization (CRDO)

Venue: Bagh Koroona, Charsadda Khas, District Charsadda (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)

Through our partner Community Research and Development Organization (CRDO) in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, TI Pakistan carried out a seminar against corruption in the education sector in the district of Charsadda. This one-day event was held on 30th September, 2012.

The introductory session was facilitated by the CEO of CRDO, Mir Zaman Moomand. After the recitation from Holy Quraan, Mr. Moomand gave a brief presentation on the two organizations in order to familiarize the participants with their vision and mission.

He then went on to describe the different types of corruption generally prevalent in the education sector today by sharing the different research information with the attendants. The level of corruption in Charsadda district’s education sector came into light. The participants discussed the following irregularities: irregular appointments, political interference, bribes for illegal favours, poor examination system, waste of funds by absentee teachers and the sub-standard triplicate education system. The roots and causes of corruption were discussed in detail. Some questions were raised by the participants during the discussion which were answered by Mr. Jehangir Khan, District Officer Schools and Literacy Department, Charsadda on the spot.

The facilitator explained the definition of the term ‘ghost school’ and the participants were invited to discuss this issue in the context of their respective areas. It was revealed during the discussion that there were many school buildings in the Charsadda district which had been closed down but no one knew whether these schools are functional on paper or not. The people of the district wanted to know whether salaries and taxes were still being levied against these school buildings or not. The participants were then told how to identify a ghost school and how to collect the necessary information.

Another important step for eradicating corruption in this sector is reporting the cases to a reliable, trustworthy and responsible forum. The participants were assured that they can trust TI Pakistan and CRDO regarding their complaints and information sent to these organizations. It was also stated during this segment that the disclosure of any type of corruption is a duty of every civilized and responsible citizen of Pakistan, so the corruption must be reported. The participants were assured that if they did not want to, the name and contact details of the reporting person will not be disclosed at any cost.

After the detailed discussion on the Agenda points, Mr. Jehangir Khan, District Officer Schools & Literacy Department, District Charsadda delivered his speech and shared his views with the participants of the seminar. He answered the questions raised by the participants during the discussion. He proudly expressed that there was no ghost school in the Charsadda district and explained that the schools mentioned earlier in the discussions were in fact closed due to the dispute between the land owner and the education department.

Next, Professor Syed Mahmood Zafar, a prominent scholar, educationist and Pashto poet from the district, attended the seminar upon CRDO’s special request. During his speech, he explained why people misused power. He described that corruption was a disease of society. Anyone may be a victim to a bully or be subjected to misuse of power. He added that seminars such as these serve as a reminder that corruption plagues the daily life of billions of people. ‘It should be an opportunity of concern and reflection for every member of the community of Charsadda,’ he added. We are all affected, in one way or another, by the damaging effects of corruption, many times without even noticing it. Dealing with it is not only about doing the right thing as a moral human being; it is also about the progress of nations, quality of life, fairness and justice. He focused in his speech the love for country; to support, to serve, and defend, to be inspired by, to change for the enhancement and to care deeply for its citizens to make our society free of corruption. He appreciated CRDO for their efforts for bringing people together on such an occasion i.e. corruption that effects every citizen directly or indirectly.

Before the seminar ended, the participants were given feedback forms to fill. The seminar concluded with Moomand thanking the participants. He then went on to say that Transparency International Pakistan and CRDO were working together for the eradication of all corruption in society and the members of the society should strengthen these organizations by actively participation in their activities and by promoting truth, reality, honesty, sincerity and self-accontability. He further added that holding ourselves accountable leads to an improved society which is the only way of bringing about a realistic change.