A new campaign by anti-corruption authorities in Moldova is urging parents not to give bribes to preschool or school staffers.
Corruption is a persistent problem in the Moldovan education system, with students or parents paying bribes to pass – or even sit – exams, get better grades, or secure a place in crowded schools and kindergartens, or even just passing along unauthorized funds to cash-strapped teachers and schools.
The campaign by the National Anticorruption Center (CNA) takes place through December in schools and high schools in the capital, Chisinau, and will be extended to the rest of the country in 2015. Notably, it holds parents offering bribes to school officials liable for criminal prosecution. The punishment for officials accepting payments ranges from warnings to dismissal.
The effort coincides with the implementation of a new, broader anti-corruption law that requires all public sector employees, including local and national authorities, police officers, customs officials, and doctors, to inform the CNA of any attempts at influence-peddling, including gifts or money.
A 2013 CNA poll found corruption to be the main social problem for 36 percent of the 1,100 respondents, followed by poverty at 34 percent.
This article was originally published by Transitions Online.