The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has engaged staff and student of the Blue Crest College on the role of students in the fight against corruption.This engagement took place on 16th September, 2021 at the Conference Room of the College, Wilkinson Road, Freetown.
Delivering the welcome address, the Principal/Rector of the College Dr. Shailesh Kumar, congratulated the Commission for the commitment shown in the fight against corruption. He stressed on the need of having a corrupt-free educational system, particularly in tertiary institutions. He similarly stated that his institution is keen about integrity and competence, vowing that the college will continue to instill these values in students.
Giving an overview of the event, ACC’s Communications Officer Alhaji A. K. Bangura, explained some fundamental concepts on corruption, integrity and accountability. He said the relevance of the engagement is to establish a pathway for the formation of an Accountability Now Club (ANC) in the institution and to have the students serve as anti-graft crusaders.
Assistant Public Relations Officer of the ACC Morris I. Kanteh, in his submission, emphasized the importance of education as the bedrock for any country’s growth. This, according to him, is one of the primary reasons why the ACC was established some two decades ago, to address anomalies in various sectors, but most especially the educational sector, which he considers as the most important. He emphasized on the dangers of corruption in the education sector, which, according to him, deprives the country of the much-needed human resource to foster desired growth. He ended by entreating the administration of the College to institute policies that make corruption unfashionable.
Public Education Officer of the ACC David Yusuf Kabia highlighted the benefits of a corrupt-free society. “A corrupt-free educational system will produce graduates that will not be square pegs in round holes,” he noted. He called on students to see corruption as an enemy and must at all times endeavor to repel all forms of corrupt acts.
Head of Public Education Unit of the ACC Michael Sesay stressed on how corruption within tertiary institutions has been endemic and sickening. He referenced the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 as amended in 2019 that gives the Commission the mandate to raise awareness on the ills of corruption, stimulate public consciousness whilst soliciting their support. According to Mr. Sesay, an Accountability Now Club is a body made up of students that helps in cascading relevant ACC messages to their colleagues. He encouraged his audience to resist, reject and report all forms of corrupt acts at all times.
A question-and-answer session climaxed the event, which was moderated by Rajeev Chatterjee, the Head of the College’s Fashion Department.