HA NOI — Parents made the defeat of corruption in schools very difficult because often they were accomplices, the Education and Training Ministry's Deputy Inspector Pham Van Tai told a workshop in Ha Noi yesterday.
Students of Le Quy Don High School for gifted students in the northern province of Lai Chau study in a foreign language lab. Improving the quality of teaching in accordance with national standards at every school is expected to help prevent corruption in schools. — VNA/VNS Photo Bich Ngoc
"Often, parents will abet teachers and educators in their corruption as long as they think it's best for their children," he said.
"If the parents do not speak for themselves about corruption, who will?" he asked the workshop which assessed the results of the 7th Anti-corruption Dialogue in May.
"Do you think the defeat of corruption will ever become a reality given that teachers attain certain, and in some cases, absolute, power over their students?"
The inspector told the workshop that corruption continued despite regular inspections.
"But few parents want to spill the beans about how much they paid to get their children admitted to a good quality class," he said.
"Without evidence we often end in a situation where we know what has happened but can't prove it.
"The important task is to raise awareness among parents and students about the evil of corruption and encourage them to exercise their right of denunciation."
Deputy inspector Tai said paying bribes for admittance to schools was the most common form of corruption.
Parents were willing to pay extra to get their children into a public high school because they assumed the teaching at State-subsidised institutions offered the better teaching quality and the fees were much lower than at private schools.
Peer pressure also made parents partly responsible for extra-curricula teaching and learning.
"Although extra teaching and learning are allowed only students of poor achievement or excellent students, parents whose children were outside both groups still want them to take part in extra classes," he said.
"Otherwise, they feel their children are being left out."
Enrolment pressure on public high schools and all other quality schools was high because the schools had not met society's requirements.
Deputy Minister of Education and TrainingNguyen Thi Nghia said the ministry had finalised the compiling of teaching materials to pilot anti-corruption teaching in high schools early next year.
The deputy minister said the pressure for entry to quality schools could be attributed in part to the difference in teaching quality and facilities between schools.
"One measure which will be taken to bridge the gap is to improve the quality of teaching staff in accordance with the national standards at every school," she said.
The workshop also assessed a survey to identify the risks of corruption in the transfer of land-use rights and house ownership.
The survey, the work of the Government Inspectorate, is scheduled for publication next week. — VNS