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ACC to Commence Monitoring of Ministry of Education

ACC to Commence Monitoring of Ministry of Education

Following the release of the Education Report titled “From the Abyss Back to the Athens of West Africa” in September 2009, the Anti-Corruption Commission will be undertaking monitoring exercise of the Ministry of Education to access progress made in the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report.

At a pre-monitoring meeting with officials of the ministry and stakeholders in the educational sector on Thursday 4th March at the Commission’s Conference Room, the Director of Systems and Processes Review Department, Mrs. Neneh Dabo said certain recommendations were made in the report that require implementation which her department is now going to monitor to see the level of compliance. She reminded them that immediately after the report was released, it was popularized together with officials of the ministry in the provinces.

Mrs. Dabo noted that the Ministry of Education was the highest reported ministry to the Report Centre in 2008 in terms of corruption related matters.  “If we are to make progress, we have to follow the recommendations”. She reminded them of the provisions in the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 which prescribed penalties for non-compliance to recommendations of the Commission. “At the end of the exercise, those who bear the greatest responsibilities for non-compliance with the recommendations will have to answer questions to the Commission”. She said at the end of the exercise, the monitoring report will be circulated to the Ministries of Education, Finance and other stakeholders for necessary action.

In his remarks, the Minister of State, Vice President Office Dr. Komba Kono said one of the functions of the Vice President’s Office is supportive supervision. He noted that the Anti-Corruption Commission is complementing the supervisory function of the VP’s office.

The Minister of State emphasized that the monitoring process is just about putting things on the right track and a worthwhile exercise. “We consider this not as policing the Ministry but necessary component in the development process of the country. It demands all of us to put our hands on deck.” he said.

Monitoring and Compliance Specialist Mr. Patric Monrovia briefly explained some of the corruption issues and recommendations in the report.

Commenting on the monitoring process, the Monitoring and Compliance Specialist disclosed that questionnaires have been designed wherein all the issues have been captured.

The monitoring process will start in the next couple of days in Freetown targeting ministries, schools, colleges, technical and vocational institutions.

Some of the corruption issues include: illegal charges in schools and higher institutions of learning; poor management of teaching and learning materials; wrong dispensation of the Sierra Leone Grant in Aid and other scholarships; poor records on teachers, education services personnel and assets; teacher absenteeism, study leave and loss of instructional time; problems in the general administration and management of schools; problems in the support services of the Ministry of Education and miscalculation and misuse of fee subsidies to schools and subvention to tertiary institutions.

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