July 24, 2020
As national public examinations draw near, the Regional Manager of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has called on Principals and Head Teachers in Lungi and Kambia to stand against examination malpractices and support the fight against corruption.
Addressing heads of primary and secondary schools at the St. Josephs Secondary School in Lungi and Red Cross hall in Kambia on the 15th and 16th July 2020 respectively, the Regional Manager Al-Hassan Sesay said the ACC values the role of teachers ad considers their role very important in the development of the sector. The meeting, he said, was convened to address issues of examination malpractices and use of fees subsidies. He lamented that examinations malpractice continues to be one of the major causes for the drop in standards in schools and emphasized the Commission’s position and commitment in taking necessary actions to curbing it. Manager Sesay emphasized that the 2019 Amendment of the ACC Act makes examination malpractice a punishable offence with fifty million Leones on conviction or five years imprisonment. He urged school authorities to take serious actions to addressing this practice and to put in place mechanisms that will enhance best practice and foster a turnaround in the system.
On the use of school fees subsidies, he said government provided these funds to significantly reduce the cost of schooling to parents and guardians and at the same time improve access and quality of schooling. “These funds are public funds and must be managed properly and efficiently. School heads are public officers handling funds that should be utilized and managed in accordance with best practices and procedures” he emphasized.
The Regionl Manager said the ACC requires the support of school administrators in enhancing best practices and accountability. He noted that the country’s educational sector is at a considerable decline and it requires collective efforts from the service providers and ACC to reverse the negative trend.
Making a statement on major issues plaguing the education sector, the Port Loko District Coordinator for the Free Quality School Education (FQSE) Edward Williams called on the heads of schools to support the FQSE as government has shown commitment to improving the quality of education in the country. He highlighted some anomalies in the recent school headcount conducted across the country which he said affected the payment of fees subsidies to most schools. As public exams draws near, he cautioned them to desist from exams malpractice and announced that government has expressed commitment to increasing fees subsidies particularly to the primary schools.
The Deputy Director of Education in Kambia Ibrahim Yayah Fofana in his statement said the meeting will significantly help and guide school administrators in the management of their schools as government and the community are looking up to them to see an efficient management of public funds entrusted to them. He called on the heads of schools to be sincere and committed in the fight against examination malpractices. The deputy Director further cautioned them to be very careful not to conflict with the law in the discharge of their functions and warned them to be mindful of decisions and action arising in CTA meetings. He called on the ACC Team to continue its public education engagement as a way of prevention mechanism in the fight against corruption.
ACC’s Senior Public Education Officer Sahid Mohamed Kamara in his statements at the respective meetings said the engagement was to educate school authorities on the 2019 Amendment Act, guidelines on the use of fees subsidies and to solicit support in addressing corrupt practices in schools. Whilst the Commission’s Public Education Officer Mohamed Thullah explained several reporting mechanisms and encouraged them to take the needed steps in resisting, rejecting and reporting corruption at all times.
While delivering the vote f thanks on behalf of her colleagues, Margaret Macauley expressed gratitude to the ACC team for sensitizing them on various corruption issues and also guide them on the daily management of their schools. She registered her assurance on behalf of colleagues to follow best practices and prioritize the fight against examination malpractices in both internal and external exams.