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ACC TACKLES BRIBERY AND PETTY CORRUPTION IN SCHOOLS
Date: 2017-11-14

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Regional Office in Bo has introduced a programme titled Kakua School Week to tackle numerous malpractices happening in schools across the District. PNB data indicated that admission, grades, exams and report cards are the hotspots for bribery in schools.

Complaints received at the ACC Bo desk highlighted extra charges–payment for uniforms; badge; neck tie; books; building fund; NPSE, BECE and WASSCE exams – as a burden on parents. Compulsory extra lessons, purchase of pamphlets and study camps continue to add pressure on parents, thus affecting performance of pupils. Female students, unable to cope with these bottlenecks, sometimes offer their body for sex to make headway.

Kakua School Week comes days following publication of the Pay No Bribe message for November, which tells pupils: don’t bribe for good grades.

The School Week so far has targeted The Awada School, John International Academy, Zenith International, and Haikal Academy.

Senior Public Education Officer, Alimamy Lahai Kamara, said students have to work hard to obtain good grades. “Your education matters to you when you are regular and punctual in school, when you are tidy and smart for school, when you avoid ghettos and dating, when you don’t play truancy, you don’t spy, you don’t steal, and when you read your notes. Certainly you earn good grades. You don’t have to bribe for them,” Alimamy Lahai Kamara told students of the four schools during their respective devotions.

Alimamy said education matters and is the springboard to obtaining a productive workforce delivering services – engineering electricity, constructing roads, supplying water, administering good health, producing quality education, providing security, and engaging in trade and other economic activities.

He said, the ACC is committed to eradicating bribery and petty corruption ranging from illegal admission and promotion, falsification of results, payment for collection of results, spying in exams, purchase of examination scripts from school authorities, bribes for good grades, and bribes for promotion.

Between January–June 2017 the Commission received 19,437 PNB complaints reports. 19% of the reports touched on the educational sector.

On 31st October 2017 the High Court holden at Freetown convicted Francis Marveh, an examiner for West African Examination Council (WAEC), and a teacher of Ansarul Secondary School in Kenema for committing the offences of Soliciting an Advantage and Accepting an Advantage (bribery).

The Commission continues to strengthen its public education engagements to raise awareness on the dangers of malpractices in schools and tertiary institutions. The Kakua School Week is part of efforts to increase sensitization campaigns on the PNB, and to remind school authorities and teachers of the dangers of bribery in the sector.

Nabilahi Musa Kamara, Programme Manager for the PNB, said in a statement that the PNB message for November targeting the educational sector is designed to hammer home the point that good grades can be earned, and should be awarded without any payment for them. This means that there are bright and clever students in schools who should not suffer for hard-work.

He said the message: don’t bribe for good grades encourages the public making complaints that actions are being taken.

Students, teachers and school administrators can dial the PNB free line 515, download the APP on Google play or access the PNB website on www.pnb.gov.sl to report bribery and petty corruption in schools. These platforms guarantee anonymity. The Kakua School Week will target another set of schools in the coming weeks.




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