Saccoh stated that the meeting was intended to heighten their awareness on some of the corrupt practices that are prevalent in the school system and their roles in the anti-graft campaign. He reminded his audience of their responsibilities as citizens, noting that they must be ready to stand against corruption. The Public Education Officer called on the school authorities not to see the engagement as witch hunt but rather a deliberate attempt by the Commission to join forces with them to restore the previous glory of the education sector.
Speaking on some of the issues that continue to hamper the standard of education in the country, ACC’s Senior Public Education Officer David Kanekey Conteh underscored the importance of education and recounted the days when Sierra Leone was referred to as the Athens of Africa because of the high standard of education it provided. Corruption the Senior Public Education Officer noted was responsible for decline of education in Sierra Leone. Conteh appealed to teachers and school authorities to ensure that they work diligently and refrain from perpetrating corruption, as such act 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 education system.
The Senior Public Education Officer catalogued some of the corrupt practices that are taking place in the school environment such as: distortion of enrollment, regular demand of unauthorized charges, favoritism, illegal admission, payment for test and assignment papers, misappropriation of the Girl Child education funds, extra charges and payment to collect report cards-BECE and WASSE results. Conteh warned staff and students to desist from such despicable acts as they constitute offences in the 2008 AC Act.
Senior Public Education Officer North Al-Hassan Sesay dilated on the benefits and importance of reporting corrupt practices to the ACC, how to report and protection of whistleblowers. Sesay warned staff and pupils of both schools to desist from making false or malicious reports. He gave out the free mobile hotlines of the Commission and implored pupils to reject, resist and report suspected cases of corruption in their respective schools and communities to the ACC.
Staff and students were availed the opportunity to ask questions which were responded to by ACC staff.