On 26th October 2017, MEC released the “Ministry-wide Vulnerability to Corruption Assessment of the Ministry of Education.” Based on findings from this assessment, MEC identified key areas of vulnerability to corruption and issued 66 recommendations for improving different aspects of education and bringing much needed reform to the sector and the Ministry of Education. These were subsequently refined into 113 more specific recommendations. The current follow up report is the first Quarterly Monitoring Report on the implementation of the recommendations.
MEC actively monitors the implementation of its recommendations, proposed reforms, and the anti-corruption efforts in the education sector, and uses this information to prepare a Monitoring Report on a Quarterly basis. In the first period of Quarterly monitoring, MEC has conducted Provincial visits to Nangarhar, Laghman, and Kabul. MEC seeks evidence including documentation, direct observations, and interviews in order to verify data and responses from designated focal points.
In the first Quarter, MEC faced challenges in getting timely responses from the Ministry of Education, including difficulties and pushback in accessing information from the Ministry. MEC did not receive any reports from focal points by the initial deadline. Ministry leadership also sent emails to specific focal points, requesting them to respond to MEC. Some of these focal points neither replied to MEC’s emails, nor to the MOE leadership’s messages. While MOE leadership had been highly cooperative in the monitoring process, this weakness of communication from focal points was disappointing and caused unnecessary delays in preparing the first Quarterly Monitoring Report.
Since release of the MVCA, recruitment of all civil service employees was shifted to the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC.) Following this change, MEC monitoring of recommendations related to teacher recruitment has also shifted from MOE to IARCSC. IARCSC leadership welcomed MEC’s recommendations, agreed on implementation, and has cooperated in MEC’s monitoring of these 17 specific recommendations that. Similarly, 14 of the original recommendations are associated with Development Partners (DPs), and the MEC monitoring team has actively engaged with their representatives for the follow-up process.
In first Quarter of monitoring 16 recommendations out 113 are considered to be fully implemented. These are related to IARCSC’s recruitment of teacher positions and a small number directly from actions in MOE. This progress includes transparency measures such as announcing all positions through their website, receiving online applications, digitalizing recruitment, and announcing the list of applicants and shortlisted candidates.