Ghost teachers

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Definition
Ghost teachers are ‘teachers who exist only on paper but get paid a salary’ (ADEA and WGEMPS, n.d.: 2). Ghost teachers represent a serious concern of fraud and corruption within education systems. Various tools and initiatives have been developed to fight this type of corruption in education. For instance, the initiative Improve Your School in Mexico (2013) allowed the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO) to mobilise existing data from the Ministry of Education and parental feedback to uncover misappropriation of funds by ghost teachers, among others (Huss and Keudel, 2020).

Overall, school stakeholders (including parents) should be encouraged to mobilise open school data (for instance data on teacher numbers) to inquire about corrupt practices and denounce them, such as ghost teachers. For this to be effective, not only information on teacher attendance and absenteeism must be specifically collected, but also hotlines and complaint mechanisms should be in place so that this type of corrupt practices can be easily reported (Poisson, 2021a; Poisson, 2021b). In addition, there should be measures in place to protect complainants as well as clear rules and sanctions (Poisson, 2021a).

References
ADEA (Association for Development of Education in Africa) WGEMPS (Working Group on Education Management and Policy Support). n.d. Policy Brief, Reducing Teacher Absenteeism: Solutions for Africa. Harare: ADEA WGEMPS. Retrieved from: http://www.adeanet.org/en/policy-briefs/reducing-teacher-absenteeism-solutions-for-africa

Huss, O.; Keudel, O. 2020. Open government in education: clarifying concepts and mapping initiatives. Paris: IIEP-UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000373142?posInSet=1&queryId=7601ee48-ac5a-4342-a15e-31ecf1165802

Poisson, M. 2021a. Developing open school data policies: basic principles. Paris: IIEP-UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000378493?posInSet=1&queryId=7601ee48-ac5a-4342-a15e-31ecf1165802

Poisson, M. 2021b. Open school data: what planners need to know. Paris: IIEP-UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000376705?posInSet=2&queryId=7601ee48-ac5a-4342-a15e-31ecf1165802

To explore further
Huss, O.; Keudel, O. 2020. Open government in education: clarifying concepts and mapping initiatives. Paris: IIEP-UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000373142?posInSet=1&queryId=7601ee48-ac5a-4342-a15e-31ecf1165802

Poisson, M. 2021a. Developing open school data policies: basic principles. Paris: IIEP-UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000378493?posInSet=1&queryId=7601ee48-ac5a-4342-a15e-31ecf1165802

Poisson, M. 2021b. Open school data: what planners need to know. Paris: IIEP-UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000376705?posInSet=2&queryId=7601ee48-ac5a-4342-a15e-31ecf1165802

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