ACC AND MADAM DIALOGUE WITH EDUCATION STAKEHOLDERS ON THE PNB CAMPAIGN
3rd October 2018
As part of its strategic engagement with different facets of society, the Northern Region Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in partnership with Mankind Activity for Development and Accreditation Sierra Leone (MADAM-SL) has engaged education stakeholders on ways to control bribery and petty corruption in schools. The engagement which took place at the Bombali District Council (BDC) Hall in Makeni on 20th September 2018, attracted head teachers, principals, local councils, civil society organizations (CSOs), traditional authorities and members of the public.
ACC Public Education Officer Abdul Karim Bangura said the meeting was intended to engage education stakeholders on the Pay No Bribe (PNB) campaign in order to provide lasting solutions to improving the delivery of quality education in schools. Mr. Bangura added that the meeting was also to share the number of quick win actions the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education Office Bombali District has come up with through the PNB that it wants school authorities to institute to tackle bribery and petty corruption.
In his remarks, ACC Public Education Officer Abdulai Saccoh said, the Commission is working on ensuring that schools systems become effective and efficient as the Government rolls out the Free Quality Education programme. Mr. Saccoh described the education sector as the architect of a country’s development programmes. He said that school authorities are crucial in shaping and nurturing the human resources of the nation. He registered ACC’s unwavering commitment to ensuring that the aspirations of the people are met. He added that the Commission will stop at nothing to ensure the success of the Free Quality Education programme.
The Public Education Officer urged the different education stakeholders to play their part in ending bribery and improve service delivery in the sector. He called on the District Education Office to embark on a robust monitoring exercise of schools and ensure that defaulters are brought to book.
The Supervisor of Schools Bombali District S.D Morgan Thomas said the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education will continue to take concrete steps to curb incidences of bribery in response to reports received through the PNB.
He highlighted some of the steps taken by the Ministry in improving service delivery, including the setting up of examination committees to vet examination papers, developing and displaying service charters, banning of Saturday and night classes within the school compound, and the preparation of marking schemes for every examination, which is subject to the approval of the appropriate committee. The Supervisor of Schools admonished principals and head teachers to work assiduously in order to make the schools a bribe-free environment.
The Coordinator-PNB, MADAM-SL, Edward Conteh, said their role as civil society organisation in the PNB is to promote and facilitate citizens’ access to the PNB reporting system, and to focus on their animation work with residents of Bombali and the neighboring districts. He said, MADAM is also working closely with the ACC in the implementation of PNB programmes like community meetings and radio discussions.
The meeting was chaired by Project Officer MADAM-SL Sheik Ahmad Borboh Kamara and meaningful contributions were made by the District Chairmen, Conference of Principals and the Head Teachers Council.
The plenary session formed the high point of the engagement.