The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Southern Region Office is dedicated to ensuring that ethical practices and corruption prevention safeguards are promoted and mainstreamed in public sector institutions, in order to deal with corruption vulnerabilities in those sectors.
In that regard, representatives of Free Quality Education Secretariat, Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Teaching Service Commission, Sierra Leone Teachers Union, Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools, National Council of Head Teachers, Principals and Head teachers in Moyamba were engaged in a frank conversation on how learning outcomes can be attained in schools.
The engagement was held on Thursday 27th October 2022, at the Moyamba District Council Conference Hall, Moyamba Town, Moyamba District.
Addressing education stakeholders, ACC’s Regional Manager, South, Momodu Sittar acknowledged the challenges schools are confronted with, but he underscored that, the said challenges are not insurmountable. Manager Sittar singled out illegal practice as one of the fundamental causes for the decline of the country’s educational standard. Mr. Sittar described illegal practice as any act implemented by public officers without the force of law or policy guide. He mirrored on the dedication of some teachers who have ensured that the school environment is not only conducive for learning but free from extortion.
The ACC boss in the South expressed his dissatisfaction on the irrational behavior and attitude of some teachers and school authorities who pride themselves in participating in illegal practices instead of promoting the ideals of integrity. Mr. Sittar drew their attention to certain provisions in the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 as amended in 2019 and dilated on the consequences to serve as deterrent measures. Manager Sittar reaffirmed the Commission’s commitment to working with them to institute appropriate actions to stamp out illegal and academic malpractices in the education system.
In his statement, ACC’s Senior Public Education Officer, Abdulai Saccoh stated that school authorities must consider the engagement as a wake-up call that seeks to remind them that their actions today determine the future of Sierra Leone. Saccoh recognized that the education sector is the architect of a country’s development trajectory that is why ACC cannot afford to sit idly-by and allow the academic system to be plagued with corrupt practices. He underscored that principals and head teachers are crucial to a nation's growth due to their invaluable contribution in shaping and nurturing the country’s human resource. Mr. Saccoh furthered that despite the transformation that is taking place in the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE), such efforts will be futile if dishonest and illegal practices continue unchecked.
The ACC’s Public Education Officer, Mohamed A. Kabba, said the engagement was a testament of ACC’s commitment to work in partnership with education stakeholders to institute appropriate measures to curb illegal and academic malpractices and make learning institutions attractive and conducive. Kabba admonished the participants not to compromise their integrity for self-aggrandizement because it can undermine public confidence and trust. He called on them to use the anti-corruption messages to correct the wrongs and change the face of education.
The Free Quality Education, District Coordinator, Moyamba, Jonathan Cobba commended ACC for providing an interactive platform to genuinely discuss with education stakeholders pertinent issues bordering on illegal practices which do not conform with legislations and policies guiding the operations of schools. Mr. Cobba emphasized that Principals and Head teachers must stick to policy guides in the management and utilization of school fees subsidy because any breach will be appropriately dealt with.
ACC’s Moyamba District Monitor of the Social Safety Net/Grievance Redress Mechanism (SSN/GRM) Unit Jonathan Bassie, chaired the meeting.A key component of the interaction, the plenary session, formed the high point of the engagement.