An Indonesian anti-corruption NGO has uncovered US$96 million losses in the country’s education sector over 10 years.

Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) investigated the matter, and discovered that there were 425 corruption cases from 2006 to 2015.

Head of departments and education officers were found to be most involved in corruption cases, the ICW stated.

The ICW revealed that grants, student aid funds and budgets allocated for school facilities and infrastructure were most prone to corruption. Most often the funds were siphoned away or budgets were inflated, it stated.

There were 85 corruption cases that misused the Specific-Purpose Grant in the past 10 years, leading to state losses of US$28 million; and 79 corruption cases in the development of school facilities and infrastructure, with state losses of US$40 million, said ICW researcher Wana Alamsyah, the Jakarta Post reports.

Federal and regional governments are required by the constitution to allocate at least 20% of their budgets to education. There is little monitoring of how officials spend these funds, however.

The country’s presidential monitoring system shows that education quality is by far the greatest cause of complaints from citizens, despite the large budget.

ICW recommends that the government digitally monitor spending records to increase transparency and accountability. The body has also called on school committees to oversee fund allocations.

Image by Danumurthi Mahendra, licensed under CC BY 2.0