Sierra Leone: 'The School Is Not an Enterprise for Extortion'

-ACC North- West Manager Cautions

Head of the Anti- Corruption Commission (ACC) in the North- West Region, Al-Hassan Sesay has told school authorities, teachers and pupils that schools are not commercial enterprises wherein monies should be demanded regularly.

He made the above statement during a "Meet the School" campaign at the Movement of Faith Islamic Secondary School and the Tim Baptist Secondary School at Gbere Junction, Maforki Chiefdom-Port Loko District.

It could be recalled that following series of complaints from members of the public, the ACC issued out a press release on the 28th August 2019 warning school authorities against extortion and illegal charges.

He stated that the drop in the standard of education was as a result of the sustained presence of corruption in the sector adding that the Commission is concerned and committed to bringing sanity to the education sector. When a country misses out in its education system, the spillover effects across other sectors will be devastating, he stressed. The Regional Manager said in as much as the ACC recognized the role of teachers and values their contribution to nation building, he noted that in the fight against corruption, the Commission will leave no stone unturned.

He cautioned school authorities and teachers to refrain from involving in corrupt practice and always endeavor to work in consonant with the dictate of the education policy. He encouraged both staff and pupils to resist, reject and report any attempt or suspicion of corruption and corrupt practices to the ACC.

The Senior Public Education officer Sahid Mohamed Kamara highlighted various corrupt practices in schools which they said have eaten deep into the educational sector. He also explained the importance of integrity to staff and pupils and encouraged both to inculcate the virtues and values of integrity as well as building a nation that is corrupt free. He underscored the significance of hard work and commitment to their academics and desists from examination malpractice, bribery and anything that contravenes the AC Act and the education policy.

The Senior Public Education Officer encouraged the pupils to work hard for them to be successful in life and discouraged pupils to desist from cheating in exams, bribing teachers for grade, sex for grades among other vices in schools. Public Education Officer Mohamed Thullah spoke on the importance of integrity in public life adding that the Meet the School Campaign was designed to teach pupils and school authorities to imbibe the values of integrity and to help address corrupt practices prevalent in schools, broaden pupils understanding about corruption and its effects and to encouraged them to resist and report all forms of corrupt practices in schools.

The Principal for the Movement of Faith Secondary School James G. Kamara thanked the ACC Team for their education on corruption and promised to work in line with the education policy. Principal of Tim Baptist Secondary School Emmanuel B Tarawallie also expressed similar sentiments and registered his support to the ACC in the fight against corrupt practices in schools.

Questions, comments and answers and the presentation of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Materials formed part of the campaign.

The Commission particularly the Public Education team will cascade anti-corruption messages and sustained engagements and outreach throughout the region to maximize the needed support and collaboration in the fight against corruption.

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