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ACC Determined to ‘Catch them Young’: ANNIE WALSH MEMORIAL

31,Oct 2016
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“We want to catch them young because if we miss them now we might not get them again.” This was how ACC Commissioner Ady Macauley explained the philosophy behind the Commission’s strategy in schools. Catching them young is a phrase that points to the fact that it is easy to mould the minds of the young than to repair older ones. It was based on this view that the Public Education and Outreach Department of the ACC sets out to pursue awareness raising programs for schools which is dubbed ‘Meet the School Campaign’ as a regular activity of the Commission.

 

At Annie Walsh Memorial Junior Secondary School, Public Education Officers Magnus Bendu and Junisa Sankoh addressed learners about what it means to have integrity and to support the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone. They impressed on the minds of pupils that integrity means to be honest, consistent and diligent. This they emphasized demands that school children should cultivate a culture of curiosity on subject matter issues and healthy competition in class. When students study hard, they would have no reason ‘to pay for grade or do any other illicit acts for the same’, the Officers added.

Referring to the staff, the concept of ‘Loco Parentis’ (the teacher taking the place of the parent) was expounded. Teachers of the Annie Walsh Memorial School were commended for their good work and encouraged to be relentless. They were informed of the shame and disrepute it will cost if a teacher is caught in a corrupt act.

A short background of the reasons for the formation of the ACC in 2000 was given. Also, the nexus between corruption and war; corruption and poverty;  and corruption and conflict were indicated. Staff and pupils were therefore urged to take charge of the fight against graft not only in the school setting but also in their communities by simply doing three things: REJECT corruption, RESIST corruption and REPORT corruption. The free 515 Pay No Bribe campaign line and the other Airtel (161) and Africel lines (077-985985 & 077-986986) were announced. The operations of the PNB reporting platform were particularly explained.

Responding to the statements, Mr. Arthur Hickson representing the Principal Mrs. Helen Horton expressed his appreciation to the ACC for what he referred to as ‘complementing the work of the school administration’. Mr. Hickson further urged all pupils to cooperate with the ACC by supporting the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone using the three R’s –Reject, Resist and Report corruption.  The session ended by answers to questions from Nafisati Jabbie and Khadijatu of JSS 2(1).

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