As part of the its effort to prevent, supress and eradicate bribery and petty corruption in schools, and ensure the successful implementation of the “Free Quality Education” programme, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has engaged schools in Lungi in a two-day sensitisation and awareness raising campaign.
The campaign which ran from the 4th to 5th April, 2019, was to inform and empower pupils, teachers and school authorities on the values of integrity, transparency and accountability in the school system.
Staff of the Public Education and Outreach Department engaged the Bullom Ahmadiyya Secondary School- Masoila, St. Augustine Agricultural Secondary School-Tintafor, United Brethren Academy School-Modeya, and St. Joseph’s Secondary School-Masoila.
Assistant Public Education Officer, ACC, Mohamed Kabba described corruption as a vicious cycle, which can be transmitted from generation to generation. “The fight against bribery in schools is necessary to improve and sustain the Free Quality Education,”he said. He called on children to understand their roles and responsibilities in the fight against corruption; reminding them that children are the future leaders of Sierra Leone, therefore, they must be at the centre of the anti-graft campaign. He encouraged the students, teachers and school authorities to imbibe and uphold the tenets of patriotism and nationalism, so that in future they would exhibit such positive attributes in their different public and private lives.
Public Education Officer, ACC, Christiana F. Jusu dilated on the dangers of corruption and its devastating effects. The need for such robust crusade in schools is to “catch them (school pupils) young” and transform them into good citizens, with sound moral values, good behaviours, underpinned with integrity, transparency and accountability.
She admonished children to desist from unacceptable practices such as: coming to schools late, truancy, reckless dressing, stealing; examination malpractices and sex in exchange for grades. “Girls must desist from all immoral behaviours that would lead to corrupt activities in schools. A child who steals or cheats in an examination has the tendency to embezzle public funds when he or she is in public office,” she emphasized.
The Port Loko District Coordinator of the ACC, Sahid Mohamed Kamara, commended the teachers, students and school authorities for a good work done so far, irrespective of the many challenges; and encouraged them to embrace the work of the ACC.