The project aimed at introducing anti-corruption education in the secondary schools trough the elaboration of an applied pedagogical model with the participation of teachers, pupils and parents. Some of its expected results were:
- Analysis of corruption in the secondary education, review of the international experience in civil education;
- Teaching syllabus and programs;
- Methodological manual for teachers;
- Training seminar with teachers;
- Pilot model approbation;
- Information and media campaign
The project was launched as the project team consisting of experts and an administrative assistant was made up and they took to performing the scheduled activities.
An empirical sociological survey was conducted among secondary school students, teachers and parents from Sofia. Its findings were crucial for the project’s goal since the particular corruption practices, attitudes and perceptions could be incorporated into civil and anti-corruption curricula. The sample covered 193 students, 128 parents and 129 teachers.The surveyed units were defined through a two-stage cluster sample. This sample was representative for the groups surveyed (secondary school students, parents and teachers) from the city of Sofia.
On 27 February, 2004 a press conference informing about the launch of the project was delivered at the press club of the Sofia Press Agency. It was attended by representatives of partner organizations and reporters from over ten media.
A series of working meetings were held with the managing staff and boards of trustees of the two schools where the core part of the project was to be carried out: 135th Secondary General School Jan Amos Komenski and the National Secondary School of Trade and Banking. The meetings served to negotiate the project activity schedule, the responsibilities of the parties, and the manner of communication in the course of the project. Teachers that were to take part in the project were also selected.
The sociological survey findings were processed. The statistics received was rather valuable in terms of the implications it had for the education process in the following project stages. The data drawn from the interviews complemented the information gathered in the two focus groups from the first trimester which featured 17 randomly selected secondary school teachers. The main causes of secondary school corruption as defined with the help of these two tools were:
• the general crisis of values in society;
• the crisis of family relations and family upbringing;
• the lack of basic material comfort and education facilities at schools;
• teacher underpayment;
• the sense of impunity;
• the lack of effective anti-corruption actions on the part of the public authorities (especially the judiciary);
• the public schools funding system which lags far behind modern requirements;
• the fuzzy rules on private tutoring by public school teachers;
• violations in the entrance competitions at top-rating secondary schools.
Anti-corruption syllabi and curricula were developed consisting of separate modules fairly independent in contents. These modules were roughly based on the Anti-Corruption Manual previously developed by Coalition 2000. Model lesson plans were prepared for teachers to use during the try-out phase of the curricula. These included elements such as projects, role plays, group work, and a number of extracurricular and out-of-school activities. They involved an interdisciplinary approach with the possibility of using the plans in various academic subjects as well in special lessons in the weekly class-focused sessions.
One of the project’s main lines of activity was teacher training aimed at enhancing teachers’ skills in civic education and anti-corruption. Their first training seminar was held on 12 -13 November 2004 at the Secondary School of Trade and Banking. It was attended by 30 teachers from the two target schools including their principals. The seminar was devoted to Methodology of Anti-Corruption Education Instruction.
On 26 November, 2004 the sequel of the on-site teacher training was held at the other participating school 135th School Jan Amos Komenski at which fourteen more teachers were trained. Among the training’s main topics were:
• civic education in EU countries;
• planning the education process;
• the essay as a testing tool.
On 29-30 January 2005, at its closing conference the project team announced its secondary school corruption survey findings from the study it conducted in the two Sofia-based schools in 2004. The organizers also presented an electronic manual containing methodological hints, model curricula and teaching aids for possible anti-corruption courses at secondary schools. Its main highlights are:
• details about the Elisaveta Klark and Penka Kasabova Association;
• review of the project’s theoretical background;
• teacher training within the project;
• presentation of survey findings;
• foreign experience in civil education;
• modern approaches to education planning (model syllabi, lesson plans, etc.);
• innovative teaching methods;
• contemporary methods for student evaluation.