The Importance of Integrity
1.Transparency International (TI) states that even if countries worldwide establish clear and precise laws, procedures, and robust institutions, effective measures against corruption cannot be achieved without upholding the value of integrity and morality in the public sphere. Developing a society that acknowledges the importance of integrity and recognizes the detrimental effects of corruption is crucial. Teaching young individuals social values and a code of conduct is necessary for fostering a society that embraces accountability and is free from corruption. The cultivation of ethics among young people and the role of education in this regard.
Nurturing Ethics for Youngsters and the Role of Education
2. Educating individuals about integrity and a code of conduct poses a challenge in the creation of a morally upright human society because the precious time of children is occupied with school hours and other activities. In that point, education plays an important role to develop mental and physical development of children. The fruitful results will be got when education is used as the bridge in the learning process of integrity and ethics.
Implementation of Integrity Education
3. There is a saying in Myanmar; “Youths of today are the leaders of tomorrow”. As the saying goes by, the youths are very important for the development of the nation, and Anti-corruption Commission (Myanmar) has laid down “integrity education” named the Integrity Education Programme (Edutainment) for nurturing a sense of integrity for young people.
4. The Anti-Corruption Law (Section-(16) (J), enacted “Coordinating with relevant departments and organizations about corruption-related awareness lessons to be taught in primary education”. In the Anti-Corruption Strategic Plan (2022-2025), the thematic area (1.2) also committed “To implement integrity education program and awareness raising for combatting corruption”. In accordance with the anti-corruption strategic plan, the Integrity Education Program (Edutainment) has been conducted in the basic education schools ( primary, middle, and high schools) in the megacities such as Nay Pyi Taw Union Territory, Yangon, Mandalay, Taunggyi, and Mawlamyine since October 2022.
5. In order to provide integrity education to school children, a series of books on integrity education (Teacher’s Book) has been published in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. These books cover the three levels, including primary, middle, and high school levels, and have been officially handed over to the Ministry of Education. During the development of these books, reference was made to the anti-corruption subjects taught at the middle school level in Thailand. Some significant content was extracted from the books on integrity education and prepared for the integrity education (Edutainment) programme. From October 2022 to February 2023, the integrity education (Edutainment) programme was conducted by the trained officers and staff as trainers for schoolchildren in Nay Pyi Taw Union Territory, Yangon, Mandalay, Taunggyi and Mawlamyine.
Survey on Integrity Education (Edutainment) Programme
6. A survey was conducted for the following purposes:
(a) To assess the perception of students, teachers, and education officials who participated in edutainment programmes;
(b) To find the understanding of students on the integrity subject provided by the commission and evaluate the effectiveness of the programme.
The survey was conducted on 15 trainers from the commission, 3,211 students, and 167 teachers from 20 basic education schools in Nay Pyi Taw Union Territory, Mandalay, Yangon, Taunggyi, Mawlamyine from 11 January to 28 February 2023.
Facts contained in the Survey
7. The cross-sessional study design is utilized and the convenience sampling method is employed for the survey. There are 545 students and 125 teachers and 15 trainers who fully answered the survey. The demographic profiles of the survey respondents are as follows: the middle schools and high schools that participated in the survey were a total of 20 schools: four schools from Nay Pyi Taw Union Territory, six schools from Yangon, four schools from Mandalay, two schools from Mawlamyine and four schools from Taunggyi.
8. As a percentage, it is found that 16 per cent were from Nay Pyi Taw Union Territory, 21 per cent were from Yangon, 18 per cent were from Mandalay, 12 per cent were from Mawlamyine and 33 per cent were from Taunggyi. As per the ratio of the respondents (by gender), a hefty of the respondents were male. The average age of the respondents was 14 years old.
9. As regards the teacher (respondents), there are a total of 125 teachers in the survey. There were six per cent male teachers and 94 per cent female teachers participating 8.9 per cent from primary school, 77 per cent from middle schools, and 14 per cent from high schools. The age of respondents is between 27 and 61 years old. It was found that the working experience of the respondents was between eight and 39 years. As for the background information of the trainers, there were 15 trainers from the Commission who participated in the survey and had at least four years of experience in the anti-corruption field.
10. The survey conducted on the students focused on two parts:
(a) Examining the respondents’ knowledge of the integrity education (Edutainment) programme conducted by the Commission.
(b) Analyzing the usefulness of the lessons taught in the programme and conducting the opinion of the respondents regarding the integrity education (edutainment) programme.
11. Regarding teachers (respondents), some survey questions are delivered to the teachers to get their opinion and suggestions on the programme and teaching method used. Moreover, some pieces of advice and the experiences of the trainers from the Commission on the edutainment programme are collected through the questionnaires.
Finding and Recommendation
12. Here are the findings related to the survey on the edutainment programme.
(A) 93 per cent of the students who responded to the survey expressed their satisfaction with the programme and 96.8 per cent of the teachers were also satisfied with the programme. So, it is considered that the programme is successful.
(B)98 per cent of the students revealed that while they are learning and discussing the importance of moral preservation in the programme, they feel like maintaining their morals to be good citizens. 90 per cent of the teachers claimed that the program can enhance moral preservation and being a good citizen for the school children. 96 per cent of the students said that what they learn from this programme can assist with other subjects/activities ( Eg- Writing essays) they are learning at school. 98 per cent of teachers revealed the program is very beneficial for students’ moral and behavioural enhancement.
(C) According to the result of the respondents, there are 62 per cent of students (those who have never heard of the programme; those who partially heard of the programme, and those who don’t want to answer the question). There are also 36 per cent of teachers (those who have never heard of the programme; those who partially heard of the programme and those who don’t want to answer the question). As a result of the respondents, the integrity education (edutainment) programme should be accelerated in the states and regions.
(D) As regards the ways to know the programme, 51 per cent of the teachers and 45 per cent of the students answered that they knew this programme through media, websites, and Facebook. So, it is analyzed that social media such as Facebook, and websites are the fastest ways to reach out information to the public.
(E) Trainers (staff and officials from ACC) pointed out based on their experience that all of the students who learned integrity education through the edutainment programme, cannot acquire sufficient knowledge on integrity and righteousness within the short period of lecture. But, they can get a great of exposure to the ethical and social norms that they must have.
(F)According to the assessment of the teachers from the basic education schools on the trainers’ performance, 94 per cent of the teachers gave positive feedback, and 87 per cent of the teachers appreciated using the learner-centred approach in the programme. So, their positive feedbacks show the success of the programme, and the learner–centred approach is suitable to use in the teaching process of this programme. It will be continued to use in the programme next academic year.
(G) In terms of the programme’s effectiveness, it is hard to measure the long-term effects on the ethic and perception changes of students because the program period is short. It cannot take for granted whether a student’s understanding of integrity education is long-lasting or not. Moreover, there are other factors such as their family, environment, and religion which can affect their social values. Nevertheless, the short-term effects can obviously be seen according to their positive responses to the programme.
(H) In the coming academic year, it is suggested that the Commission will conduct to hold short plays on promoting integrity (30 minutes short play), doing projects on anti-corruption, and holding essay competitions, and presentations on promoting integrity. These ways of teaching integrity education are fun and induce students actively participated in learning integrity and ethical values. To do so, the Commission will establish the connection to the schools which are interested in promoting integrity education ahead of time.
13. Myanmar is working to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and Anti-Corruption Commission is trying to fulfil “Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms” contained in (16.5) of the Sustainable Development Goals.
14. In addition, Chairman of the State Administration Council, Prime Minister, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, has emphasized the importance of strengthening policy and legal frameworks, and clarification on rules and procedures in order to reduce corruption in his speech on International Anti-Corruption Day (9 December 2022). He also said that it is crucial to strengthen the law and strive for good morality. The anti-corruption commission laid down the moral foundation for the new generation by conducting the Integrity Education (Edutainment) Programme. The achievement of the edutainment program by the commission can obviously be seen. By implementing the necessary improvements and incorporating the recommendation from the survey, the upcoming integrity education program will be much more fruitful and contribute towards achieving the goals of the nation and the Anti-corruption Commission.