The Northern Regional Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission has empowered pupils of the Forum of African Women Educationalist (FAWE) Secondary School in Makeni to enable them contribute to the fight against illegal charges and corrupt practices in their school.
This was in the form of an awareness raising exercise on Tuesday 6th May 2014. The objective of the sensitization titled “Meet the Schools Campaign’ was to enable the pupils aware of corrupt practices taking place in their schools, illegal charges, their roles and responsibilities and encourage them to report to the ACC.
Speaking on the role of the school in the fight against corruption, ACC’s Senior Public Education Officer, Mr. Al-Hassan Sesay said one of the main factors inhibiting the provision and delivery of effective services in the schools was the sustained presence of corruption. He emphasized the Commission’s determination to stamp out corrupt practices in schools and therefore encouraged the pupils to be prepared to be ambassadors of ACC.
Sesay explained to the pupils that the Commission was only leading the fight against corruption that was why as pupils, they have a role to play if corruption is to be eroded in their schools.
In his address, the Regional Manager of ACC, Mr. Patrick Sandi expressed gratitude to the Principal and Staff of the institution for the opportunity to spread anti-corruption messages. He explained the numerous strides made by the Commission towards the fight against corruption in the country. The Regional Manager lamented over the drop in standard of education in the country which he attributed to corruption. He noted that collective contribution to the drop in standard of education should also be met with collective approach to revamp it.
Manager Sandi frowned at some corrupt practices prevalent in schools that are chargeable offences in the 2008 Anti-Corruption Act, such as: examination malpractices, illegal admission and promotions, falsification of examination results, payment for collection of report cards and BECE/WASSE results. Mr. Sandi warned staff of the institution to desist from corrupt practices and called on the pupils to report to the Commission any acts of corruption in their school. “You are the future of this country, but you have the responsibility to prepare the future for yourselves. If you don’t support the ACC, there will be no future for you. Therefore, the only way we can make progress in this country is by embracing the ACC”
Public Education Officer, Mr. Abdulai Saccoh explained to staff and pupils the benefits of reporting corrupt practices and how to make report to the Commission. He called on them to report to the Commission suspected instances of corruption in their school and assured them of the Commission’s fullest protection. Mr. Saccoh read out the ACC mobile phone numbers to enable them report to the Commission.
Earlier in her welcome address, Principal, FAWE Secondary School Mrs. Sarah Bangura, appreciated the sensitization drive undertaken by ACC which would go a long way to guide the teachers and prevent corrupt practices. She called on the Commission to organize regular sensitization campaigns.
At the end of presentations, the pupils and teachers were given the opportunity to ask questions which were answered by the ACC team.