Speaking at the respective meetings in Port Loko, Lunsar and Masiaka on the 26th and 27th September 2019, ACC’s Regional Manager, Al-Hassan Sesay called on heads of schools to be sincere and determined in the fight against examination malpractices in internal and external examinations. He lamented over entrenched examination malpractices scheme that has marred public exams and drop in standard of education, but hastened to emphasize ACC’s determination in reversing the negative trend. Mr. Sesay reminded them of their responsibilities as heads to instill integrity and enhance monitoring mechanisms, noting that they must be ready to stand against corruption. He called on the Principals and Head Teachers not to see ACC’s intervention as witch-hunt but rather a deliberate attempt to join forces with them to restore integrity in internal and external examinations. He said the Commission recognizes the importance of teachers in the fight against corruption that was why the Commission is constantly engaging them to take decisive and firm position in the fight.
Speaking on some of the issues that continue to hamper the standard of education in the country, the Regional Manager underscored the importance of education and recounted the days when Sierra Leone was referred to as the ‘Athens of West Africa’ because of the high standard of education she provided. He appealed to teachers and school authorities to ensure that they work diligently and refrain from perpetrating corruption as such acts have ripple effects on future generation. He urged his audience to do all they could to tackle this ugly trend in order to avoid a collapse of the country’s educational system.
Mr. Sesay used the occasion to explain some key corruption issues prevalent in the schools that require urgent attention. Among them, he noted, are: bloated enrollment figures to attract more government subsidy, regular demand of unauthorized charges, illegal admission, payment for test and assignment, misappropriation of fees subsidy and payment to collect report cards /BECE and WASSCE result. He urged all heads of schools present to desist from such practices as they constitute offences under the 2008 Anti-Corruption Act.
In his address, the Deputy Director of Education, Port Loko District, Joseph M.B. Sesay trumpeted ACC’s determination in curbing corruption within the school system and committed to putting the schools in conformity with anti-corruption measures. He used the occasion to announce the ‘death and burial’ of examination malpractices and entreated them to put in place measures that will prevent its reincarnation.
Senior Public Education Officer of ACC, Sahid Mohamed Kamara explained the various methods of reporting to the Commission and protection of whistleblowers. He dilated on the benefits and importance of reporting corrupt practices to the ACC and admonished all against making false/malicious reports. He gave out the free telephone hotlines of the Commission and implored the heads of schools to reject, resist and report cases of corruption.
The engagements were climaxed with comments, concerns, questions and answers.