The Council of Europe has launched at the Charles University a new “platform” to fight corruption in education: the Pan-European Platform on Ethics, Transparency and Integrity in Education (ETINED).
The platform will be made up of a network of specialists from the 50 states, which are parties to the European Cultural Convention of the Council of Europe.
These specialists will cooperate with other international organisations and agencies engaged in the field, from Transparency International to UNESCO.
Corruption can affect all levels of education, from embezzlement of funds intended for school buildings to plagiarism of essays and selling of diplomas.
A recent Transparency International survey that measures public perceptions of corruption in education indicates wide variance from one country to another – from 6-7 % to 70-72% – but it shows that no country is exempt and that the European average is around 34 %.
“Corruption in education perverts and disrupts the fundamental cement of our democracies,” said Snežana Samardžić-Marković, the Council of Europe's Director General of Democracy at the opening of the 7th Prague Forum where the platform was launched. “If we do not tackle corruption in education, we are effectively teaching children that those who get ahead are those who know how to flout our societies’ rules and standards."