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This paper analyses the scale and sources of views on the prevalence of corruption in the education sector in Poland. Through the use of public opinion surveys, I answer questions on how the corruption level in Polish educational institutions has changed over time and how it compares to other public institutions (such as the health care sector and police) and to the situation in other European countries. My goal is to investigate the effect of individual-level predictors of perceiving schools as corrupt in Poland, with special attention given to structural determinants and previous bribe-giving experiences of respondents. The results reveal that in Poland relatively few respondents have experienced recent acts of giving bribes in schools or perceive educational institutions as corrupt. However, there is a structural pattern behind the sources of negative opinions. The effect of socio-economic determinants on views relating to corruption in Polish schools is strongly pronounced and trends in the opposite direction compared to the effects reported in other European countries.


Ilona Wysmułek, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences

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The goal of this paper – set in the context of the reform to lower the school starting age in Poland – is to investigate the determinants of parental decisions to enrol their six-year-old children in the 1st grade versus leaving them in preschool or preparatory class. It was found that starting school before the compulsory term occurs primarily in response to objective symptoms of a child’s readiness for school, but there is also some evidence for a deliberate investment in education by parents with a higher socio-economic status. Finally, early enrolment may also be driven by a cost-reducing strategy. The discussion highlights the possible reasons for the political failure of school age reform, which was recently cancelled after having been gradually introduced for six years.

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