ACC LECTURES PUPILS ON THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF EXAMINATION MALPRACTICES ON THE FREE QUALITY EDUCATION
As Sierra Leone joins the World to commemorate the International Day of The African Child, the Public Education and Outreach Department of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on 17th June 2019, organized a public lecture for various Secondary School pupils in the Western Area on the theme “Standing Against Examination Malpractices to Promote Free Quality Education in Sierra Leone”. The programme took place at the Saint George’s Cathedral Hall, 3 Gloucester Street Freetown.
The objective of the public lecture was to raise awareness on the rights and potential of children and draw attention to issues bordering on examination malpractices and riotous conducts in schools.
Speaking on the theme, the Deputy Commissioner of ACC, Augusting Foday Ngobie said in 1976 thousands of black school children marched across Soweto in South Africa to protest against poor quality education. He stated that in Sierra Leone, the Government has introduced the Free Quality Education, but yet still some school pupils are frowning at the initiative. He mentioned series of education malpractices in schools and riotous conducts of certain school pupils when caught in the act of cheating in Examinations. He further said, when he was Deputy Director of Investigations at the ACC, he led a team of investigators to arrest 71 school pupils who were involved in examination malpractices in Aberdeen, Freetown. Deputy Commissioner cautioned them to refrain from those acts and advised them to study hard during exams so that they will pass with good grades. “The Commission will not sit by and see the country degenerate to that abysmal status in education, the once Athens of West Africa”, he concluded.
Earlier, the Chairman who is also the Director of Public Education and Outreach ACC, Patrick Sandi speaking on the purpose of the lecture, said today is another milestone in the strides taken by the Commission to fight graft, by bringing together schools in the Western Area to commemorate the Day of the African Child. He underscored the programme is to create awareness on the rampant examination malpractices in schools. He said recently, school pupils were seen demonstrating against their teachers and other State authorities which is appalling and abhorrent. He admonished them to emulate the action of their colleagues in South Africa when they stood firm against poor quality education. He encouraged them to take their school work seriously and desist from examination malpractices.
Delivering her lecture, Mary Jambai, Acting JSS Principal of Methodist Girls High School maintained that the concept of education seems difficult to define because of its many definitions. She noted that formal education is divided into phases and goes through examinations. She mentioned series of malpractices in the education sector, especially cheating and bribery which are very common. She spoke on laziness and absenteeism of teachers and the lack of monitoring of examinations by the West African Examination Council (WAEC). She said examination malpractices had long and short term effects. On the long term effect, it frustrates and erodes integrity in our education system and causes wastage to the country’s resources. On the other hand, it usually leads to teen’s dropouts, drugs addiction and teenage pregnancy. She pointed out that education without quality is a disease. Madam Jambai furthered that, in order to improve our education system there should be evaluation procedures and proper monitoring and supervision of schools for good service delivery. She made some recommendations to improve on the Free Quality Education which are: Government should look into the preventive aspect of examination malpractices, cancellation of results of those involved, stopping candidates to take the exams if caught and termination and prosecution of education officials and pupils when caught in examination malpractices.
An interactive plenary session formed part of the programme.