In its drive to enhance integrity in the management and utilization of school fees subsidies, the Regional Manager of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Al-hassan Sesay has told heads of schools in Port Loko City to enhance transparency, accountability and best practice and stand up against corruption and other forms of malfeasance in schools and support the fight against graft.
He made this statement during a customized meeting with leadership of the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE), Teaching Service Commission (TSC), Free Quality Education and heads of Primary and Secondary in Port Loko City on Tuesday 18th January 2020 at the Pastoral Hall, Port Loko.
Addressing school administrators, the Regional Manager Al-Hassan Sesay said the ACC values the role of teachers ad considers their role very important in the development of the sector. The preventive engagement, he said, was convened as a response to intelligence gathering and public concerns relating to corrupt practices and other malfeasance that has contributed to poor service delivery and drop in standards in the education sector.
Commenting on key corruption issues informed by the intelligence gathering, he pointed out the existence of ghost schools that are receiving subsidies and a seeming conspiracy aimed at perpetuating a perverse system of siphoning public funds meant for schools. He noted that heads of schools who succumb to such pressure will face the greatest responsibility and held liable for any amount misappropriated and therefore encouraged them to resist being in any corruption enterprise. He also pointed out conspiracy between administrators and commercial banks, seeking clearance from the ministry prior to withdrawals of fees subsidies, inflated school rolls, misappropriation of subsidies, records management and the alarming rate of abandonment and self-transfer of teacher as inherent inadequacies plaguing the sector. He used the occasion to strongly warn school heads to desist from corrupt practices and ensure their operations are in accordance with best practices and procedures.
The Deputy Director MBSSE, Joseph MB Sesay expressed thanks to the ACC for engaging administrators on key issues relating to their operations. He expressed firm commitment to address issue raised and to continually engage heads of schools to enhance best practices and conform to policies and guidelines of the ministry.
In his statement, the Deputy Director of Teaching Service Commission, Ibrahim Kamara expressed concerns about the alarming rate of abandonment of teachers and explained procedure of recruitment, transfer and other related issues on the welfare of teachers.
Senior Public Education Officer Samuel Junisa Sankoh who spoke on ethics and role of administrators said teaching is a noble profession and teachers must maintain high ethical standards and to fully abide by the codes and conduct of same. He also noted attendance, punctuality, illegal charges and integrity as major concerns to the ACC and encouraged the leadership to put in place internal control measures to enhance compliance to best practices.
The Chairman Conference of Principals, Khalilu S. Kabba expressed delight for having an engagement with the ACC on issues that border on their operations, adding that the meeting will serve as platform for knowledge sharing and guidance on their work. His counterpart, James Bangura who spoke on behalf of the National Council of Head Teachers in Masiaka also expressed similar sentiments and promised to work in consonant with the law for an improved system of learning in their schools.
Clarifications, questions and answers session and presentation of IEC materials climaxed the engagement.
© ACC North- West Office