Anti-Corruption Commission Commences Robust Engagements with Teachers and School Authorities
The Anti-Corruption Commission in the East has commenced all round engagements with Principals and teachers of schools in Kenema. The engagements which is another phase of the “Meet the Schools Campaign” is aimed at constructively engaging teachers and school authorities with a view to addressing issues of extortions, illegal charges for pamphlets and assignments levied on pupils and other corruption related issues in the schools. (Photo: HRSS Teachers)
The campaign which started on the 28th February 2013 saw the ACC holding meetings with staff of the Holy Trinity and Holy Rosary Junior and Senior Secondary Schools and on the 6th March 2013 the Islamic Senior and Junior Secondary Schools in Kenema.
The Kenema District Coordinating Officer of the ACC Mohamed Sylvanus Blake at each of these meetings encouraged his audience to support the ACC in the fight against corruption as the ACC is only providing leadership. He stated that success in the country’s effort at addressing corruption is contingent on each and every Sierra Leonean’s commitment and willingness to “Resist, Reject and Report” corruption. Mr. Blake stated that ACC employs a robust approach to the fight against graft at all levels irrespective of who is involved maintaining that if the future of this nation is to be improved, then all role players especially in critical sectors like education need to render their unflinching support to the national fight against graft.
Sylvanus Blake stated that several concerns emanating from the public indicate that there was rampant extortion of monies from parents and pupils in exchange for grades, assignments, tests and practicals in such a way that even subjects like history, government, literature etc which do not have field practical components are affected. Blake stated in no uncertain terms that the ACC frowns at all forms of corruption hinting that the Commission will not leave any stone unturned in the fight against graft. He admonished teachers and school authorities to take actions to curb such wrong practices adding that they should serve as role models for the pupils.
The ACC Public Education Officer, Peter Baio Kamara explained sections in the Anti Corruption Act of 2008 that condemn corruption in all its form, indicating the penalty for anyone convicted of corrupt practice(s). He stated that the Anti Corruption Act of 2008 like all laws is not a respecter of persons. He explained to his audience the four principles in the 2009 Code of Conduct for Teachers and emphasized areas that condemn extortion of monies in schools and encouraged his audience to read public documents so that they can understand and respect laid down policies. Peter Kamara said that the ACC prefers to have converts from graft to convicts of graft. He underscored the importance of the role teachers play in shaping the future of this nation and urged them carry out their profession diligently and in the best interest of the child.
The school Principals and teachers of these schools registered their appreciation to the ACC for the preventive move stating that this move was a reinforcement of the messages they had been giving to the teachers and that if any teacher fails to heed the ACC call he/she would have himself/her to blame.
All the principals pledged their commitment and will to the heed to the call of the ACC by taking actions to curb such activities.
Similar engagement will continue in all schools in Kenema and its environs.
Mohamed Sylvanus Blake, ACC, Kenema
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