Mobilizing Action Against Corruption (MAAC), an annual program of USAID, the Ministry of Education and Science, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), was held at the Marriot Hotel on April 6th. More than 150 representatives from state agencies, higher education institutions, civil society, trade associations and international organizations attended.
This year’s program focused on corruption at higher education institutions and what non-governmental organizations and other institutions are doing to prevent it. It aimed to inform a broad Armenian audience about how corruption lowers standards at universities, and it introduced the steps being taken to tackle corruption globally.
Armen Ashotyan, minister of Education and Science, Doctor Jatinder K. Cheema, director of USAID and Armenia’s Mission Director, and Ambassador Sergey Kapinos, head of the OSCE office in Yerevan, opened the program. Participants at the meeting included representatives from the Ministry of Education and Science, various higher education institutions and government agencies, the National Assembly, and civil society organizations, including student associations and international organizations.
Rector Ruzanna Hakobyan from Gavar State University shared her own practices and lessons for combating corruption. (FAR’s Jerair Nishanian Foundation Programis implemented at this university.) Experts in Education and corruption from Romania, Ukraine and Georgia, participated and reported on the topic as well.
In order to overcome all difficulties and succeed we need to mobilize all of society’s efforts. Today, anti-corruption education is being provided at high schools and universities throughout Armenia through the distribution of flyers, essays, meetings with experts, seminars, training programs, discussions and forums. It is inspiring to witness how such an important issue is being voiced so strongly and a dialogue to develop a civil society on this topic has been introduced.