By: Jeneba Kemoh Mbayo
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Eastern Regional Office, in a bid to instill integrity and best practice in public sector institutions, on 16th August, 2022, engaged key education stakeholders in Kenema, on the topic, “Education Is a Key Tool Which Helps Us Achieve Success as a Nation”.
This engagement attracted representatives from the Conference of Principals, the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education and the Directorate of Teaching Service Commission.
Welcoming stakeholders from the Education Sector, the ACC Regional Manager, East, Keifala Koi thanked them for honouring the invitation. He encouraged his listeners to uphold the principles of integrity, transparency and accountability in ensuring the successful attainment of the Free Quality Education. Manager Koi further registered the Commission’s continued commitment to the success of the Free Quality Education particularly in the management of the school feeding programme, learning materials and the utilization of school fee subsidies hence the ACC’s partnership with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE).
ACC’s Public Education Officer Kenema, Jeneba Kemoh Mbayo, emphasized on the responsibilities of the education stakeholders in employing measures to eradicate corruption within the education sector. She urged them to undertake the admission process of pupils into JSS1 in a corrupt free manner, should the Free Quality Education initiative be successfully attained.
Senior Investigations Officer ACC, Belinda Hebron, reminded school Principals of their public mandate which includes; but not limited to the prevention of corruption in schools. To this end, she encouraged them to familiarize themselves with the Anti-Corruption Act, 2008 (as amended in 2019), which according to her will help them understand the Dos and Don’ts contained therein, as the Commission is currently paying attention to the issue of the misuse of school fee subsidies. She referenced some offences in the AC Act 2008 as amended in 2019, such as; soliciting, accepting or obtaining advantage for public officer, and misappropriation of public funds or property, which she noted carry severe punitive measures upon conviction.
Responding, the Chairman, Conference of Principals, Mustapha J. Mansaray thanked the Commission for the opportunity and platform provided for frank and open conversation on the things that matter most towards the sanitization of the education sector. On the utilization of school fees subsidies, he promised to submit to the ACC, the Policy Guide on same, highlighting also challenges in the teaching field.