In his statement at the Kambia District Council Hall, ACC’s Public Education Officer Abdulai Saccoh said, the education sector is critical to a country’s development noting that, principals and head teachers are central to a nation’s growth due to their invaluable contribution in shaping and nurturing the minds of the pupils who are the future of Sierra Leone. It is incumbent on you to protect the country’s greatest resource-the human resource, Saccoh emphasized. The Public Education Officer informed participants of ACC’s unwavering determination to see that the free quality education is achieved and the children of this country benefit from it.
Saccoh catalogued a number of measures they should institute into their regular school activities in order to curb corruption such as: effective controls and continuous monitoring of the use of school resources, internal control and effective monitoring mechanisms to prevent school materials from finding their way to the street markets. Saccoh echoed the roles of school authorities in the crusade stating, they must take pride in delivering quality service and the courage to expose the corrupt. He encouraged them to exhibit high level of integrity in the discharge of their duties as they have committed themselves to stamping out corruption in the school environment.
Addressing participants Public Education Officer ACC, Abdul Karim Bangura said the Pay No Bribe campaign (PNB) platform was created to provide Sierra Leoneans the opportunity to report incidents of bribery and petty corruption. Bangura disclosed that as the education sector is part and parcel of the PNB targeted institutions, it is expected that teachers take all steps necessary to prevent the occurrence of corruption and bribery within their institutions. The Public Education Officer informed his audience that the public can report acts of bribery through the various ACC free lines and the PNB 515, on all mobile networks except Qcell. He assured them of informant protection as reports made to the Commission are anchored on confidentiality.
Dilating on the purpose of the engagement, ACC’s Public Education Officer, Jeneba Kemoh described the meeting as the Commission’s strategic approach to dialogue with education stakeholders on the ill-effects of corruption, and how they would partner with the ACC to tackle corruption in the school environment. Madam Kemoh stated that, the country’s education has been plagued with pervasive corruption and maintained that the past educational glory could only be restored if they are willing to join forces with the Commission to tackle graft. She reminded them that, fighting corruption should not be seen as the business of the ACC alone but rather as a civic responsibility of all citizens.
Deputy Director of the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) of Kambia District, Mr. Paul Issa Kamara said their main function is to recruit teachers with the requisite qualification and to monitor their conduct. He advised the Principals and head teachers to treat ACC messages very seriously and work within the ambit of the law. Similar sentiments were expressed by other key players in the education sector. Questions and answers session formed the high point of the meeting.