Serving as voice from the outside in a bid to support quality education in Sierra Leone, the North West office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has on Thursday 27th January 2022 reached Gbinti Secondary School (GSS) at Gbinti Town, Dibia Chiefdom, Karene District in rolling out its usual Meet the School Campaign.
Meet the school campaign particularly aims at catching them (pupils) young in building the culture of integrity within them (pupils). At tender teen ages when their hearts and minds are receptive to learning new knowledge, the Anti-Corruption Commission, a strong partner to the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) always ensures that provisions in the 2004 Education Act, Teaching Service Commission Act and Codes of Conduct / Practice of the Free Quality Education (FQE) with Quality Assurance are upheld and maintained in Sierra Leone's school system.
The Senior Public Education Officer premiered his campaign with obedience and respect for teachers which he described as a hallmark of integrity for pupils to better understand and inculcate golden principles and practices being taught in school, as been done in churches and mosques (agents of socialization) within Karene Chiefdom. Samuel Junisa Sankoh adjured Gbinti Secondary School teachers to seemingly handle pupils as their sons and daughters because parents and guardians have given their children to school in trust. Thus, the Latin maxim, (iloquo parents,) teachers playing the role of parents.
SPEO Sankoh further highlighted some prevalent vices among pupils which must be put to speedy end: absenteeism, late coming, bribing and sex for grades, truancy, spying and all forms of examination malpractices, falsification of academic documents, kleptomaniac attitudes when their colleagues become absentminded etc.
Pointing out anomalous practices, the Senior Public Education Officer cautioned Gbinti Secondary School teachers to desist from collecting money from parents and pupils in the name of late and absent fees; payment for report cards and extra lessons conducted within the confines or precinct of the school. He also asked that the teachers uphold virtues of integrity and always behave professionally when dispensing their dutiful functions as teachers. Teaching, Junisa Sankoh emphasized is a noble profession. As such, he admonished teachers to always act as role models to pupils who would desire to see them (teachers) as mentors.
After moderating the interactive questioning and answering session, Mohammed Thullah, ACC Public Education Officer continued by encouraging the establishment of Integrity Club. Two teacher coordinators could suffice to guide and supervise the activities of Integrity Club members, he added.
Immediately after talking to the Secondary School pupils, a customized meeting was held with teachers of Gbinti Secondary School where more thorny issues in academia were trashed and hammered. Therein, North West Regional Manager, Al-Hassan Sesay pointed out practices which the ACC, in line with MBSSE frown at: illegal admission, accomplice in external examination malpractices, influencing school heads in misappropriating school subsidies etc.
Manager Al-Hassan Sesay reminded the teachers about provisions in the 2008 Anti-Corruption Act as amended in 2019 which has given more prosecutorial powers to the commission. It was interactive with teachers of the school making a resolve to uphold integrity and professionalism. The high point of meeting with teachers and pupils of Gbinti Secondary School in Karene District was climaxed by handing Information Education and Communication (IEC) materials to the school management and question and answer sessions.
ACC North- West Office