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ACC Interacts With Senior Secondary School Teachers In Kabala

ACC Interacts With Senior Secondary School Teachers In Kabala

The Anti-Corruption Commission District Coordinator, Koinadugu Augustine Ngobie has on Thursday 14th March, 2013 held a well attended awareness raising meeting with teachers from all the Senior Secondary Schools in Kabala. The said meeting which took place at the Kabala Secondary School Library was co-chaired by the Principal of the host school, Mr. Hassan B. Conteh and the SLTU District President, Mr. Dominic S. Mansaray.

In his presentation to the teachers, ACC’s District Coordinator Koinadugu gave the background of the Commission, its mandate, key approaches employed to fight corruption and major successes achieved  including the bringing of the Commission’s representative to district level.

Explaining the approaches, he cited among others; public education and outreach, systems and processes review, and investigation and prosecution.  He said, the Commission  applies these approaches to ensure that everybody is made to aware that there are anti corruption laws that forbid certain actions and equally so, there are penalties for breaking any of those laws. Also, the operational systems and processes of all MDAs can be reviewed by the Commission at anytime, to identify the possible outlets for corruption and make recommendations to close those loopholes. The District Coordinator told the audience that failure to implement those recommendations will result to a penalty under the Act.  The most feared approach is the investigative and prosecutorial authority of the Commission. He said this seems to be the last resort of all the three pronged approaches being applied in executing the Commission’s mandate.

He highlighted the reporting procedures to the Commission. Where one has verifiable information of corrupt practices being perpetrated or about to be perpetrated, he told them to report such acts either in person by making statement or in writing at any of the offices in Makeni, Bo, Kenema or Freetown.

Mr. Ngobie further gave detailed description of the twenty seven principal offences found in the Anti Corruption Act 2008. Among these, he emphasized on the following as they are the most common within the school environment: misappropriation of public and donor funds, soliciting, accepting or offering advantage, abuse of office and position. He said the actions which would result to any of these, could be; when one uses funds provided by the Government like girl child support funds or subsidies for other purpose or could not be accounted for by any means will be considered as misappropriation of public funds. Secondly where teachers demand money or anything of benefit from pupils for tests, assignments, practical arts, giving out end of term results, could all amount to soliciting and where the solicited advantage is accepted, it is another offence. The Coordinator emphasized that the pupil making the offering is equally culpable. He went further to say that by using your position as a teacher (approved or unapproved) amounts to abuse of your position or office.

ACC District Coordinator admonished all present to do their teaching work diligently, as there is always inner satisfaction and gratification when you teach somebody and that person succeeds in life. He warned teachers to desist from any of those acts that would land them in ACC net and eventually in prison.

Responding, Mr. Dominic S. Mansaray SLTU District President expressed great delight to the ACC staff for taking his time to  talk to senior teachers of the District on why they should desist and resist corruption in all shape and form, and to the Commission for ensuring that it is being represented in that part of the Country. He told his colleagues that there is dignity in maintaining integrity during the performance of their job as teachers. Mr. Mansaray called on Mr. Ngobie to engage the teachers of primary schools and other institutions in the District disseminating similar anti-corruption messages.

Questions and answers session formed part of the meeting.

ACC Makeni

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