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 social malaise in the educational sector. As the
academic year has come to an end, most school teachers are now busy
collecting monies from parents for Reports cards and promotion of children.
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 said meeting
was held in the school compound on the 14th July 2016.
The 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 society and the mindset
of some people still remains negative about the campaign against graft.
ACC boss, south noted that
corruption is dynamic, as there are lots of issues that could emerge during
the course of time. Manager Marah emphasized:”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 does 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, then it is the country that has failed. The
Commission’s efforts are geared towards improving the lives of Sierra
Leoneans and not an individual’s life,” he added.
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 teachers and
all to imbibe the culture of transparency, accountability, and above all
integrity in the discharge of their duties as teachers.
The Public Education Officer also
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
ACC’s Public Education Officer
Joseph Hazeley explained the benefits of reporting corruption, how to
report and 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
Questions and answers session
climaxed the interaction.