The Regional Manager of the Anti-Corruption Commission North West Region has warned the newly deployed Inspector of Schools and other education stakeholders in Port Loko district to be mindful of the types of gift and favours they receive whilst performing their official functions.
Addressing staff of the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Free Quality Education and Teaching Service Commission at the Ministry’s conference hall on Thursday 29th April 2021, Manager Sesay draws their attention to section 47 of the 2008 Anti-Corruption Act which makes receiving gift for corrupt purpose a punishable offence. He cautioned them that as public officers, they should carry themselves and conduct their activities free from corruption.
Generally looking back into initial trends of book learning and education since independence, one could capture hail and admirable moments (the Athens of West Africa). But alas! Attitudes and behavioral patterns, coupled with unsatisfactory lackadaisically complaisance, mudded by dwindling reading culture have all stifle the three R’s: (Reading, Writing and Arithmetic). The ACC has become more concerned to get all sectors involved in education out of this worrying sequence, and put them on their toes in a bid that they professionally perform with excellence to straighten the pervading crookedness therein.
Talking to the Ministry officials on best practices stipulated in the 2004 Education Act and the 2008 Anti-Corruption Act (amended in 2019), the North West Regional Manager reminded them as civil / public servants who are partners in development to boost and uphold the academic sector of Sierra Leone as expected on performance.
“An informed and enlightened nation has no option, but to glow in a socio-economic sphere. Ignorance is the basis to a nation’s underdevelopment,” he stated.
Moving forward, the Regional Manager took attendees through common practices in the education sector which have suffocated the anticipated glorious ambiance in education. Pinpointing on misappropriation, abuse of office and position, and conspiracy to commit a corrupt offence, Manager Sesay explained aspects enshrined in the 2008 AC Act which when one falls foul of, indicted, he or she could be convicted by a competent court of law.
Making remarks to the program, North West MBSSE Deputy Director (DD) Alfred Conteh expressed appreciation to the ACC for considering his entity with awareness raising on prevalent corrupt practices in the education sector. He said he had been compliant since a communique was reached at, and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the ACC and MBSSE to promote Pay No Bribe (PNB) Campaign in Sierra Leone. He promised to ensure a thorough monitoring and supervising of MBSSE staff that integrity and professionalism become a hallmark in the education sector of Sierra Leone.
Regional Director Free Quality Education (FQE), Ibrahim Sheka Kanu stated his delight with the functioning of the commission which has become a novelty to the country as perceived and accorded by the international community. “FQE remains an unblemished partner to the ACC in implementing all packages of Free Quality of Sierra Leone’s Education” he emphasized.
Deputy Director Teaching Service Commission (TSC), Ibrahim Kamara and Head of Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education in Port Loko City, Mr. Lavalie all hailed ACC’s Public Education drive not only in the North West Region, but the country as a whole.
Earlier in the morning, ACC Senior Public Education Officer, Samuel Junisa Sankoh has engaged Education Sector Partners in Port Loko City on the relevance of coalition building and partnership in the campaign against corruption in Sierra Leone’s education. It was an interactive session which left partners as openers to professionally stand accountability and transparency in book learning and all forms of education for national building.
How worthwhile these engagements have been, are nothing to be overemphasized. Since the ACC is thickly concerned of sanity in all spheres and aspects of Education in Sierra Leone, pending national exams would be jointly monitored. The fight against corruption is winnable.