International anti-corruption day marked in Moldova through actions involving youth in fighting corruption in schools
On the International Anti-Corruption Day, several groups of youth and students – National Pupils’ Council, Youth Media Centre, and the Y-Peer network in Moldova – re-launched the ”NU copiez! – I choose to be honest” campaign, which promotes integrity during school tests and exams.
The event was held at the Theoretical Lyceum in the village of Mereni, district of Anenii Noi, where pupils, parents, teachers, school administrators and representatives of the Ministry of Education signed a Manifesto calling to abandon the practice of cheating during school tests.
”Pupils and teachers of our high school gladly joined this campaign. I think that its message must resound in every school in Moldova. We need a new spirit, a new set of mind in our education system if we are to give our children the chance for a better life here, in Moldova,” said Lidia Cretu, the principal of the Theoretical Lyceum in Mereni, Anenii Noi.
This year’s anticorruption campaign supported by UN agencies includes other activities involving youth, such as social theatre sketches promoting anti-plagiarism, training sessions on blogging and efficient communication on social networks, where young people can make their voices heard and encourage their peers to be honest during exams.
As part of the same campaign, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, the project "Youth for transparency in education". The project provides for the involvement of pupils and youth from 20 communities in Moldova in identifying innovative solutions to fighting corrupt practices in schools. The best solutions and practices will be awarded while the Ministry of Education will scale them up to national level and adopt them as policies.
”Education and fighting corruption have been identified as development priorities by the Moldovan people during the consultations on the future they want”, said Nicola Harrington-Buhay, UN Resident Coordinator in Moldova. ”This innovative project will give young Moldovans the chance to get involved in addressing the issues they are faced with in school, and contribute to improving the quality of education in their country”.
More than half of Moldovans believe that the country’s education system is corrupt or extremely corrupt, according to the 2013 World Corruption Index, released by Transparency International.
At the same time, most of the students and parents, and even some school administrators, fail to perceive plagiarism or cheating as a corrupt practice that goes against the rules of academic integrity. According to a study commissioned by the Soros Foundation in Moldova, students believe that half of the BAC tests in 2012 were plagiarized.
The International Anti-Corruption Day is marked since 2003, with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) being at the forefront of these efforts. Corruption is a serious crime, found in both rich and poor countries, which can undermine social and economic development in all societies.
This year’s global campaign focuses on how corruption hinders efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, and impacts education, health, justice, democracy, prosperity and development.
Zinaida Adam, Joint Integrated Local Development Programme, tel. 022 820 843, firstname.lastname@example.org or Lucia Aprodu, Joint Integrated Local Development Programme, mob: 060 026 702, email@example.com