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Paper Title: The Effect of Bribery on Education in Liberia- A Threat to the Nation’s Future 

By Joyce G. Kangar BA, Candidate MIR.

Bribery in an educational system significantly threatens the quality of education and equity within such institutions. 

This pervasive issue undermines the integrity of academic institutions, leading to compromised educational standards and unequal access to opportunities.

The foundation of a nation’s development is its human capital. According to the World Bank Report 2022 on Education, when the education system fails to produce skilled and knowledgeable graduates, the country’s workforce is weakened, limiting economic growth and development.

 Talented students might not be able to soar because the system favors those opting to bribe. People with the ability are often sidelined for those who pay bribes. 

Bribery in education takes on various forms, such as sextortion, grades for sex, and extortion as well. In all of this, the most vulnerable group who suffer this menace are women. 

This is the fundamental reason why the entrenched culture of bribery in education must be eradicated if Liberia is to be better. 

The Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index on Liberia has consistently scored Liberia poorly, indicating high levels of perceived corruption across various sectors, including education. 

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In addition, the UNESCO and World Bank Reports, 2022  have highlighted systemic issues in Liberia’s education system and often attribute the poor educational outcomes partly to corrupt practices.

 In 2023, the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) conducted a survey and reported that a significant percentage of Liberians believe corruption is widespread in the education sector. 

These reports clearly indicate that Liberia must take drastic measures to combat corruption in the sector.

 Although Liberia has implemented various measures to combat corruption in the education sector, as reflected in the Education Act of 2011 and the integration of anti-corruption curricula in the school system, there is still more to be done. 

The following recommendations, if integrated into the educational system, will help eradicate corruption in schools. 1. The government should enforce strict anti-corruption laws and policies specifically targeting the education sector; this includes rigorous background checks for educators and administrators, regular audits, and severe penalties for those found guilty of bribery.

2. Educating the public about the detrimental effects of bribery on education and the nation’s future by carrying out public awareness campaigns, ensuring students, parents, and the community stand against bribery, and demand transparency and accountability from educational institutions.

3. Regular monitoring and evaluation of educational institutions to help identify and address corrupt practices by establishing independent bodies to oversee the implementation of anti-corruption measures to ensure accountability and transparency.

4. Investing in the continuous professional development of teachers to help reduce bribery by training them well and compensating them efficiently. 

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