[EDITORIALS]Give up bully tacticsThe governing Uri Party has delivered 18 cases of private school corruption, which were reported through the party’s information center, to the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development and asked the government to conduct investigations into them. According to the party, it investigated 30 cases reported through the center and discovered suspected irregularities, such as obtaining bank loans using the school as security and accepting bribes when recruiting new students, in 18 of them. The administration’s browbeating has now begun in earnest to nip the protests of private schools against the revised private school law in the bud.
Currently, among the nation’s private schools, colleges and universities, which total about 2,000, 35 institutions have had temporary directors dispatched by the government due to corruption cases or campus disputes. Those are the results of the Education Ministry’s regular audit. Therefore, it is difficult to consider it normal that so many alleged corruption cases were reported simultaneously, after the government announced special investigations into private schools last week. It indicates that either the Education Ministry neglected its duty by missing so much corruption or that many among the alleged corruption cases are mere slander.
The vice-education minister recently encouraged auditors of local governments to deliver public complaints about chronic corruption in private schools to the central government. The Education Ministry is enthusiastic in battering private schools in accordance with the administration’s policy. The ministry seems to have forgotten that it has a duty to protect the interests of private schools as well as to rigorously supervise them.
If it is exposed that private schools are full of corruption, the Education Ministry itself should investigate them, punish the schools’ foundations and directors and have them prosecuted. But the governing party and the government are saying that they will divide private schools into those related to religion and others, and investigate only the non-religious schools. It shows clearly their intention to split up non-religious and religious private schools, to weaken their mass protest and make them yield. Schools run by religious foundations should not differ from the others in corruption investigations. Instead of such tactics, the government should resume talks with the schools to revise again the problematic provisions in the new law. It is the only way to normalize the nation’s educational sector.