Parental informal payments in school: monitoring study

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Parental informal payments in school: monitoring study

Education represents an essential public good, particularly to developing economies. But persistent problems with transparency and accountability affect both the quality and equality of opportunities in education. For example, parents often may not know that the government has released funds for textbooks for their children, nor are they privy to understand how the creation of school budgets can hold public education officials accountable –, or conversely, invite fiscal corruption. If parents do not become informed and involved in establishing, overseeing, and supporting their children’,s schools, they are likely to be relegated to the periphery of decision making processes. Without a sense of ownership in either these processes or the institutions of education overall, parents are not likely to hold teachers and administrators accountable for the provision of an equitable, quality education. If communities do not know what to expect from schools (in terms of educational outcomes), if they are not informed of the legal mandates of education and are discouraged from involvement in the schooling process, they may not claim their children',s right to education. Consequently, a general lack of transparency is likely to lead to a variety of corrupt practices in the education system –, from the paying of informal (and in some cases, illegal) fees to the outright paying of bribes to school officials. Monitoring study of Parental Informal Payment to Education (PIPES) is joint CIE and Open Society Institute Education Policy initiative and is part of the CIE’,s “,Education Policy Forum Project”, which aims at developing educational programs in preventing corruption, raising public awareness for teachers and local communities. Under the project, CIE made a situation analysis and needs assessment, developed general program framework and guidelines for anticorruption education, and elaborated strategic plans for anticorruption actions. This paper will present the results from the PIPES study in Azerbaijan and follow up from public discussion among education stakeholders and school communities. It will describe the influence of parental contributions to mainstream school functioning and reflect on public and expert views on how to address this problem in the future.

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