By Al-Hassan Sesay
The Northern Regional Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission has sensitized pupils of the Forum of African Women Educationalist (FAWE) Secondary School in Makeni to enable them contribute to the fight against illegal charges and corrupt practices in their school.
The awareness raising exercise, which took place on 6 May, 2014, was titled “Meet the Schools Campaign” and had the objectivity of educating the pupils about corrupt practices in their schools, including illegal charges, and their roles and responsibilities in reporting such to the ACC.
Speaking on the role of the school in the fight against corruption, ACC’s Senior Public Education Officer, Al-Hassan Sesay, said one of the main factors inhibiting the provision and delivery of effective services in schools was the sustained presence of corruption. He emphasized the Commission’s determination to stamp out corrupt practices in schools and encouraged the pupils to be prepared to be ambassadors of ACC.
Sesay explained to the pupils that the Commission was only leading the fight against corruption, and that as pupils, they have a role to play in eradicating graft in their school.
In his address, the Regional Manager of ACC, Patrick Sandi, expressed gratitude to the Principal and staff of the school for the opportunity given to them to spread anti-corruption messages. He explained the numerous strides made by the Commission towards the fight against corruption in the country.
He lamented over the drop in standard of education in the country which he attributed to corruption. He noted that collective contribution to the drop in standard of education should also be met with collective approach to revamp it.
Manager Sandi frowned at some corrupt practices prevalent in schools, which he said are chargeable offences in the 2008 Anti-Corruption Act, including examination malpractices, illegal admission and promotions, falsification of examination results, payment for collection of report cards and BECE/WASSE results.
He warned staff of the institution to desist from corrupt practices and called on the pupils to report to the Commission any acts of corruption in their school.
“You are the future of this country, but you have the responsibility to prepare the future for yourselves. If you don’t support the ACC, there will be no future for you. Therefore, the only way we can make progress in this country is by embracing the ACC,” he urged.
Public Education Officer, Abdulai Saccoh, explained to staff and pupils the benefits of reporting corrupt practices and how to make report to the Commission. He called on the pupils to report to the Commission suspected instances of corruption in their school and assured them of the Commission’s fullest protection.
Mr. Saccoh read out the ACC mobile phone numbers to enable pupils report corrupt acts to the Commission.
Earlier, in her welcome address, the school’s Principal, Mrs. Sarah Bangura, appreciated the sensitization drive undertaken by ACC, which she said would go a long way to guide the teachers and prevent corrupt practices. She called on the Commission to organize regular sensitization campaigns.
The meeting was climax by a question and answer session.