Pupils of Uzbekistan Join UNODC's E4J Initiative on Anti-Corruption and SDGs

Tashkent, Uzbekistan: On October 18, 2018, a first pilot of the anti-corruption board game "Play for Integrity" was launched at a secondary school in Tashkent. 62 students between the ages of 12 and 16 had the opportunity to try out the new board game that requires players to make everyday decisions that challenge their integrity and ethical judgement - from skipping a line to using one's position to give someone an undue advantage over others. Originally developed by Integrity Action, a UK based NGO, "Play for Integrity" offers a way for educators to teach about ethics and integrity in an interactive way.

Before the pilot, two local experts from the Ministry of Public Education and Regional Centre of Retraining and Improving the Qualifications of Educational Workers of Public National Education reviewed the game and adapted it to the local context. Now, the game features three versions - adapted to different age groups of students.

Piloting was led by Ms. Beth Sarah Turner, manager from Integrity Action the developer of the game: "It was great to see the students and teachers respond to the 'Play for Integrity' game so positively, and enjoy the different aspects of the game. The students discussed questions as teams and worked well together to progress in the game. Students, teachers and UN representatives gave useful and constructive feedback, which will be taken on board to further improve the game so that it is more effective as a learning resource. Hopefully the game and any changes made will motivate more young people to champion integrity in their lives and in their communities."

The principal of the school, Mr. Boris Blyakher, observed the piloting sessions and supported students and organizers. He emphasized: "The children felt appreciated. Our country is a member of the UN and today students had the opportunity to discuss world issues together with the UN. They expressed social activism."

During focus group discussions, one the students mentioned: "Usually, I spend almost the entire day at school, but I never had such an amazing opportunity for teamwork. I felt united with my classmates and I realized that success of the team depends on the contribution of each member. It made me realize that only together we can build a sustainable community".

Another student shared: "I liked the game. After playing it, I became more confident about my knowledge of corruption and what it takes to fight it. The game helped me develop my skills of logical thinking, analysis and expressing my opinion when faced with a difficult situation". Analysis of the students pre- and post- questionnaires supported the student's point. After playing the game, many students had increased their knowledge about the different aspects of corruption.

Finally, educators also had the opportunity to provide their expert opinion and feedback. One of the teachers, who participated in the pilot shared: "I liked the game and will use it during my classes on a regular basis. It is very flexible - for the next rounds of play, I can add new questions and tasks, which might help students to address integrity, mismanagement and fraud issues. The game could be used to study history, geography, language and any other subjects."

Deputy Principal: "Usually we provide students with theory only. And today they had opportunity to practice their skills on a culture of law."

The most frequent request from both students and teachers was to add more time for playing of the game, as well as elaborate on more questions and scenarios.

The Government of Uzbekistan assigned the month of December, 2018 as a month of "Jurisprudence" among school students and National Focal Point, Mr. Akbar Tagaev, Head of Department of Spiritual-enlightenment Education of youth from the Ministry of Public Education highlighted: "This interactive and educational game will serve as a good tool to be piloted during the December - "Jurisprudence" month across schools in Tashkent."

Ms. Ashita Mittal, Regional Representative UNODC ROCA: "UNODC ROCA welcomes innovative initiatives like this in Uzbekistan. We believe that to reduce corruption we need to promote the core values of transparency, accountability and integrity from an early age among young people. It is important to engage with them, so they can grow up as citizens who have critical skills to act with and demand integrity."

This is extremely important as Uzbekistan Government adopted anti -corruption Road Map, which includes creation of awareness on prevention, early detection and citizen's engagement for good governance. As a part of E4J initiative, UNODC ROCA supports National Action Plan and Road Map signed with Republic of Uzbekistan, UNODC is committed to work on creating culture of lawfulness and crime prevention, which are often fueled by corrupted practices."

Also, the UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia is building a cooperation with the Anti-corruption Department of the General Prosecutor Office to pilot the game in colleges and lyceums of Tashkent as well. The hope is that as a result of the cooperation with national partners, more students in Uzbekistan will be empowered to fix and resolve problems that affect their communities.

Before the Game SDGs post cards were distributed among students.

Special thanks to:

Ms. Bethan Sarah Turner, Integrity Action, United Kingdom

Ministry of Public Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Regional Centre of retraining and improving the qualifications of educational workers of public national education in TSPU named after Nizami, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

State Educational Specialized School of Profile Labor Training, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Ms. Indira Mukimova, National Consultant, UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia

For more information:

Education for Justice (E4J) initiative

Secondary Education

Doha Declaration

UNODC ROCA on Twitter

UNODC in Central Asia on Facebook