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ACC Engages Schools Heads in Kambia on Illegal Charges

HomeNewsACC Engages Schools Heads in Kambia on Illegal Charges

ACC Engages Schools Heads in Kambia on Illegal Charges

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In response to numerous complaints and concerns from parents and the public relating to illegal charges and other forms of extortion, the North-West Regional office of the Anti-Corruption Commission has on Wednesday 24th February 2021 engaged Heads of Secondary and Primary schools in Kambia.

Addressing school administrators at the Kambia Islamic Secondary School, the Regional Manager Al-Hassan Sesay said the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) values the education sector and the role played by school authorities in the country. However, he noted that the drop in the standard of education was as a result of sustained presence of corruption in the sector.

Manager Sesay reminded them of the oversight functions of the commission on all public bodies and provided a comprehensive explanation on the three pronged approaches of public education, prevention and confrontation used in the fight against graft. While citing similar engagement held last year with same, the Regional Head noted that the ACC will this time go along with the confrontational aspect where in defaulters will be brought to book to answer for corruption offences. He further expressed serious concerns over the many complaints of illegal charges and extortion particularly issues relating to payment for report cards, payment for assignment and tests, absenteeism and late fees, exams malpractice, falsification of report cards, payment of extra classes within the precinct of the school, misuse of school fees subsidies among other things. “All of these practices contravenes the education policy, AC laws and in contrast with best practices, he said.

He urged them to increase their monitoring mechanisms, abide by the dictates of the education policy and also informed them that the 2019 Amendment Act of the ACC makes examination malpractice a punishable offence with fifty million Leones on conviction or five years imprisonment. “If you fail to monitor we will bring you in for conspiracy and failure to take the necessary actions,” he said.

The Deputy Director of Education in Kambia, Ibrahim Fofanah acknowledged the efforts of the ACC in curbing corrupt practices in schools. Commenting on the issue of handling community teachers and its related issues, he provided a succinct explanation on the processes involved to the establishment of community schools and the recruitment of teachers therein. He expressed dismay over lack of supervision by some heads of schools which continue to have adverse effect on the effective running of schools. He also made clear the different roles of Board members, School Management Committees and Community stakeholders on the effective management of schools in the region.

In his welcome address, the Secretary for the Conference of Principals for Secondary Schools (CPSS) in Kambia District Saidu Pedro Kamara described the ACC as partners in development and called on the CPSS to support the ACC. Head of the National Council for Head Teachers Ibrahim Vonteh thanked the ACC for bringing together heads of school and educate them on various issues of corruption.

Questions and answers session, and the presentation of ACC’s Information, Education and Communication materials formed part of the engagement.

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