Contributed by Solange Chin

Corruption is an act of exchange where you are forced to pay for a service which you truly merit. It has been observed that critical issues in the society are neglected because the few people who struggle to make a change always feel discourage when they notice a majority of people are doing it. As Martin Luther King Junior rightly said “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people, but the silence over that by the good”.  Most often, some people fall into the misconception that, if a lot of people are doing something, it actually means it is preferable. It is a tremor that Corruption has been a rampant issue in the educational domain where good leaders are supposed to be build. The worse part of it is that, the few good people grip back their efforts to make a societal change and they automatically become “Ant’s hill of the savanah” as Chinua Achebe rightly puts it, meaning they turn to behave just like the forgoing people knowing fully well that, it is to the detriment of the younger generation. The following paragraphs outlines instances of corruption in the educational domain.

Corruption begins right from primary Education where some tutors fail to perform their duty correctly simply because, they want parents to pay for private classes. They make no effort to educate children rightfully as they are being paid for. Others willingly give unmerited marks to pupils who attend private classes in order to impress their parents of how the private classes are improved the children. Furthermore, some parents prepare lunch boxes for tutors not as a sign of appreciation but for the reason that, special attention should be paid to their children in class. Too bad because that will affect the child in the long run when he or she moves to a different school. This is the more reason we see children in class three or four who do not know either to read or write and they are continually promoted to the next class. They get to primary six and validate common entrance and first school but are still unable to spell their names.  So which leaders are we building?

Corruption seem to be like the canker warm which has spared no sector .In secondary education, especially government schools. Public offices are being abused by public officials as they have taken it for their private gains. Parents pay   fee for what has been declared to be free, students who did not pass the common entrance still make their ways into the school, and those who failed interview as well. Staffs on their side do not complete their syllabus on time and at the end, they organize private classes and demand money from students just to complete their syllabus. Others practically set aside certain topics in the syllable which they consider difficult to be thought in their private classes. Some students turn to fear and respect their teachers than their parents and as such, the teachers take advantage of such students. They sexually harass them by tracking them at times to accompany or visit them in their homes for better explanation of topics. Some students, especially male, pay their instructors to mark them present even when they are absent. Field trip which is educational, others take it as an advantage to meet with students out of town to satisfy their pleasures. Students carry this same attitude into the university. My worry is which society are we trying to build?

In most African universities, students experience torture in the hands of lecturers before validating their courses. Though there are lazy students who deserve failure as they do not study, they turn around to hunt and encourage lecturers in their indecent acts since they know it is the only solution to attain marks in order to validate a course.  They actually penalized the intelligent and serious ones who fail because they could not abide to the demands of their lecturers. Some lecturers demand sex, and money from students. When they don’t comply with this, they willingly fail these students.   In most cases, some lecturers make it a policy in their courses that, a fix amount of money should be paid or sex as a medium for their courses to be validated in assessments or exams. This is unfair to students who study hard in preparations for their assessments. This is an issue which can be solved if tabled to the administrative head and they take precautions for it. The fact that majority conform with corruption, the conscious ones will be afraid to take a bold step and some end up joining the crew. Thus the younger generation follows. So do will really have hope for the future?

If parents work so hard to send their children to school, it is because they envisage a better future for them, if the government or proprietors employ staffs into institutions, it is for the better running of the schools and also for the education of the children. So it is plead for us to make efforts to avoid corruption and better our society.

Edited by Nicholine Akou