On April 27, 2017, the National Advocacy Committee for Public Policy (NAC-PP), released findings of a case study on Education and Anti-Corruption, examining possibilities for incorporating anti-corruption in education curricula in Afghanistan.
This study stems from research conducted by Afghanistan Public Policy Research Organization (APPRO), a member of NAC-PP and acting as the Secretariat, to inform advocacy activities of NAC-PP’s Anti-Corruption and Education subcommittees, both civil society driven initiatives with mandates to facilitate evidence-based constructive advocacy by civil society organizations to initiate an inclusive, ongoing dialogue between state and non-state actors.
The Anti-Corruption Sub-Committee of NAC-PP considers integrating corruption awareness into Afghanistan’s education system is one essential measure to contribute to the fights against the institutionalization of corruption.
Afghanistan continues to be ranked as one of the top ten corrupt countries in the world. There have been very few attempts to integrate anti-corruption in education curricula, particularly in early and mid-level education. Anti-corruption values and attitudes introduced at an early age are likely to pay dividends in the long run with the emergence of a new generation of anti-corruption citizens who stand against corrupt social behavior based on a new set of values and principals. This argument has been put forth by the United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and taken up through the Anti-Corruption on Academic Imitative (ACAD).
Islamic values are seen by many as an obvious starting point for raising awareness against corruption. However, methods of delivering Islamic teaching were strongly and consistently described as unimaginative, ineffective, and done by unqualiﬁed instructors who fail to discuss the implications of Islamic provisions against corruption in practical, every day terms.
The teaching methods were described as uninspiring, unengaging, and delivered and received by the disinterested. Many of those engaged in this research felt that with well-trained and enthusiastic teachers communicating Islamic teachings that promote integrity and humanity a wave of resistance to the endemic corruption in Afghan society could be facilitated. Islamic values denounce injustice, corruption, ignorance, poverty, discrimination, nepotism, bribery, deception and misusing public property [bait-ul-mal].
These values need to be incorporated into the education system through changes in the curriculum and appointment of knowledgeable, qualiﬁed, and experienced instructors. The question is how a new breed of teachers is to be found, trained and deployed within the education system.
The research makes the following recommendations:
- Efforts should be made to motivate community leaders to enlist and engage joint bodies drawn from educationists, religious scholars, teachers, parents, young people, and students along with cooperation from the Media to combat corruption based on Islamic principles.
- As much as possible, lessons should be drawn from the experiences of citizens in other countries on how to combat corruption.
- Parents and parents’ associations need to put pressure on the school system, particularly at the primary and secondary levels, for practical instructions against corruption based on Islamic values. Initially, these initiatives may have to find their expression in extracurricular societies, associations, conferences and other activities.
- The evident loss of conﬁdence and trust in the government indicates that effective moves must be organic, from within the community and initiated by ordinary citizens and their organizations, rather than merely high-level political statement making and law and policy making.
- Extracurricular activities such as anti-corruption school clubs and conferences organized from within the community should be used to arouse interest, create a common voice, and mobilize actions.
- Revision of curricula by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Hajj and Religious Aﬀairs will be essential in fighting corruption based on Islamic principles.
The National Advocacy Committee for Public Policy (NAC-PP) was established in March 2015 to serve as a policy advocacy and information-sharing platform for good governance. NAC-PP works closely with Provincial Advocacy Committees (PACs) and District Advocacy Committees (DACs) to coordinate advocacy and information sharing from district to national levels.
For more information on NAC-PP, please contact the NAC-PP Secretariat through Mr. Atiq Rahimi at firstname.lastname@example.org.