Budget allocated by the Ministry of Education for public universities has been utilized for political purposes, a report published by the Ethiopian Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission reads.
The Commission’s report, which was initiated to assess corruption risks in the private and public educational sector, highlighted a plethora of issues in both public and private-owned educational institutions which severely compromise the quality of education.
The report, which The Reporter has obtained, shows that there is a corrupted and political party-affiliated organizational system in educational development programs in those institutions. Illegal and inappropriate recruitment of teachers and other staff members, employing relatives and family members and recruitment of staff with fake educational certificates are also mentioned.
Many staff members of some educational institutions have employees with fake education certificates, while private university colleges are printing and selling degrees and diplomas like a good, and registrars purposely destroy students’ certificates and request money to replace them, according to the report.
It showed that while the university structure attempts to preserve the reputation of those who are in power, private schools, on their part, seek to preserve the interests of their students as commodity customers.
The absence of teachers from their classes, fake educational certificates, leaders’ engagement in theft, illegal employee recruitment and development, inappropriate procurement, lack of clear transparency and working system, inappropriate registrars’ staff members’ engagement malpractices, and tender embezzlement pose risks to educational quality, according to the finding.
The report underlines how colleges and university administrators compromised the quality of buildings by plotting and signing with the contractor to accept buildings before their completion date.
The study, which was conducted in 61 institutions, revealed a lack of internal financial control mechanisms, purchased goods of low quality, and budget allocation for politically motivated activities outside educational institutions’ key responsibilities.
Most of those educational institutions were reluctant to provide the requested information to undertake the assessment, unable to obtain accurate information and due to the absence of leaders in their working places, according to the finding.
The Reporter’s endeavors to get comments from the Ministry of Education bore no fruit as some officials were unable to respond.
However, Ethiopia’s education and training authority communication director, Tarekegne Geresu, speaking about private colleges, said that despite there being certain issues that might be considered findings, the authority has clear criteria to uphold rules and regulations in private schools.
Tarkegne also mentioned the authority’s ongoing efforts to identify and take serious measures against over 200 institutions, reaching up to the revocation of licenses and closure of institutions.
“After graduation, we provide authentication for every single degree certificate, and unless the authority certifies this certificate, employers should not recruit those with unverified certificates from private colleges,” Tarkegne told The Reporter.