27/03/2017 - Ukraine has taken ambitious steps to tackle bribery and corruption across government, including public procurement and, law enforcement. It should now step up its efforts to tackle integrity risks and violations in education, such as unmerited grades, misappropriated school funds, and preferential access to schools and study programmes -- according to a new OECD report.
“Ukraine can get better outcomes from its education system and every student should expect the same opportunity to succeed,” said Andreas Schleicher, OECD Director for Education and Skills, launching the report in Kyiv with Liliya Hrynevych, Ukraine’s Minister of Education and Science. “The Ministry’s public commitment to enhancing integrity sends a positive signal of its determination to achieve a merit-based system of education whose students perform at global levels. In 2018, Ukraine will also take part for the first time in the OECD’s PISA survey of education, which is also encouraging.”
To address these issues and strengthen public trust in its education system, the report OECD Reviews of Integrity in Education: Ukraine 2017, recommends that Ukraine adopt three broad strategies:
Reform policies that incentivise misconduct. Some cities have too few pre-school places to meet demand, creating incentives for families to seek places through gifts or family connections. In higher education institutions student work may be intentionally mismarked or plagiarised work accepted because institutional funding formulae and faculty compensation policies penalise stringent grading and the dismissal of students. Policies creating the right incentives should be adopted. Pre-school places can be increased to meet demand. Funding formulae can be modified, so that higher education institutions are not penalised when enforcing standards of academic integrity among their students.
Balance autonomy with accountability. Implement reforms that provide teachers and administrators with wider professional autonomy – and join this with increased opportunities for colleagues and external stakeholders to monitor and contest decisions. For example, public schools in Ukraine routinely use parental donations to advance their educational mission. They do not record those donations because they wish to preserve flexibility in allocating resources and avoid burdensome reporting requirements. Policy makers can provide schools with more flexible use of extra-budgetary funds from parental contributions while establishing a legal right for parental donors and others to oversee how donations are managed and used, allowing them to detect the misappropriation of school funds.
Build institutional capacity for integrity.A capacity for integrity can be designed into education institutions and practices. An effective way to do this is to expand external scrutiny and validation of teaching and learning. This can be done through the wider use of benchmarking, peer review and externally set examinations – and supported through improved training and support.
The report, commissioned by the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science, is available at www.oecd.org/edu
Working with over 100 countries, the OECD is a global policy forum that promotes policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.