A relation between corruption and the quality of education is widely believed. For this it is no surprise that the comparison of the Education Index of the United Nation’s Human Development Reports with the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, both 2013, presents a correlation index of 0.68. A strong statistic negative relation, what can be interpreted that high regional corruption obstructs the effective financing of public schools. Further missing are social programs to support poorer families, so that they are not able to keep their children in school, but have to send them work to financial support their families’ budget.

Education Level

This is is not a one-way relation, but a vicious circle. The US psychologist Melvin Kohn presented back in 1969 in his study “class and conformity” that different social classes have preferences for different values. Based on this and other sources, Lorenz Fischer and Guenther Wiswede resumed that the middle class prefers socialization styles as performance-, reward- and future-oriented and in general being more individual. On the other hand, lower classes have the tendency to be failure-avoiding, punishment-, present- and family-oriented.

Especially the difference between future- and present-orientation is relevant. As corruption is a learnt behavior, the change from a high risk country to a transparent one may take up to two generations. This is a long and not always easy way to go. A corrupt government not only  harms indirectly the quality of education, it has no interest to change the situation, as a present-oriented group of people is easier to manipulate. Before elections, the potential candidates promise that now with them the situation gets better. Together with simple presents, including t-shirts, pens or basic food products, they can buy the votes of the most vulnerable groups. The Roman Empire perfected this strategy with its “bread and games”, as the Emperor satisfied the citizens’ basic needs for food & fun and so ensured that they stayed in their personal comfort zones and not tried to desired more rights and democracy.

Nevertheless this strategy includes a high risk for governments, as the voters are not faithful to a vision or political party, but could as easy manipulated by one party, as by another. One the one hand, citizens are not able to decide for the hard solution with the long-term benefit of a transparent a just country and again-and-again fall for the same promises & gifts, and on the other hand, learn impunity and perceive a helplessness of their situation, what even strengthens the position of the existing political parties.

Of course to change the situation of a country, it is no strategy to take away today’s “bread and games” as soap-operas and football, especially not as also individuals who climbed up a higher level on Maslow’s pyramid still have to satisfy their needs on all reached levels. It is required to foster the country’s middle class, this with a higher quality education and combating impunity. This explains that the evolution of a region is not only the task of the government, but of all parts of the society.

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