Any country where corruption is prevalent in the educational sector it will be difficult to have quality education and a strong human resource base. Therefore collective effort is required to eradicate this malaise in the educational sector. As the academic year has come to an end most school teachers are now cling on to collecting monies from parents for Reports cards and promotion.
This was the reason why the ACC Bo Regional office decided to engage parents, teachers, pupils and the School Management Committee members (SMC) of the SLMB primary school Dodo section in Bo. The meeting was held in the school compound on the 14th July 2016The meeting was part of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) sustained public education campaign to spread anti-graft messages to different shades of society; in a bid to enlighten teachers , pupils and SMC members on the adverse effects of corruption in schools.
Addressing over one hundred pupils, teachers and SMC members, The ACC Manager South Mr. Samuel Marah expressed profound thanks to the Management and staff of the school for the readiness they demonstrated to join forces with ACC to combat corruption. Mr. Marah reiterated that quality education which is free from corruption is very central to the development aspiration of any nation. He admitted that fighting corruption is a difficult task because it has existed for a very long time. It is endemic in the society and the mindset of some people still remains negative about the campaign against graft. The ACC boss south noted that corruption is dynamic as there are lot of issues that could emerge during the course of time. Manager marah emphasized that ACC is not a witch hunt institution; it serves as a check on the excesses of public bodies and public officers. He informed them that ACC do not adjudicate corruption cases in the High Court but rather its mandate stops at prosecution. Manager Marah implored the parents and SMC Members including the teachers to stand with the Commission in this fight as those benefiting from it are in the minority as compared to those suffering from it. “When ACC succeeds it is the country that has succeeded but if it fails it the country that has failed. The Commission’s efforts are geared towards improving the lives of Sierra Leoneans and not an individual” he stated.
Speaking on the role of the school in the fight against corruption, Public Education Officer South Joseph Hazeley maintained that the educational sector is in a deplorable state due to corruption. Consequently, decisive action must be taken by all patriotic Sierra Leoneans to liberate this nation from this epidemic. Mr. Hazeley encouraged the teachers and all to imbibe the culture of transparency, accountability and above all integrity in the discharge of their duty as teaches,the Public Education Officer informed them that their role in the crusade is to resist, reject and report any incidence of corruption to ACC in bid to enhancing quality education.
The ACC’s Public Education Officer Joseph Hazeley talked on the benefits of reporting corruption, how to report and the protection for informers. He cautioned his audience to refrain from making false reports as it is also a crime. He read out the ACC mobile phone numbers to enable them report to the Commission. He encouraged the listeners to report any corrupt practices that occur in their school and community.
Questions and answers session climaxed the interaction