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Heads of schools urged to eschew bribery

North-West Regional Manager of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has called on Principals and Head Teachers in Masiaka and its environs to stand up against bribery in schools and support the fight against corruption.

Al-Hassan Sesay said the commission values the role of teachers and consider them very important in the development of the education sector.

According to him, the meeting was convened to remind school administrators of their roles and responsibilities and for them to do more in their monitoring and supervisory functions to combat illegal charges and key corruption demands in schools.

He lamented that examinations malpractice continues to be one of the major causes for the drop in standard in schools and emphasized the commission’s position and commitment in taking necessary actions to curbing it.

“Extortion boils down to illegal charges like payment for late coming and absenteeism, report cards, assignment, test and extra classes among others which have contributed to the abysmal performance of pupils in public examinations,” he said.

Manager Sesay emphasized 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 teachers put more efforts in class, there will be no need for extra classes,” he stated.

Commenting on the use of fees subsidies, the ACC Regional Manager noted that they are public funds and are provided to cushion the cost on parents and must be properly used for its intended purpose. He pointed out that the anomalies observed in the just concluded head count of schools which gives an indication of inflation of school rolls and will require the ACC's intervention in fighting the wrongs in the system. He warned school heads of schools to desist from corrupt practices and ensure their operations are in accordance with best practices and procedures.

Senior Public Education Officer, Samuel Junisa Sankoh described school administrators as change agents and urged them to demonstrate the commitment needed to reverse the negatives in the sector. He explained several reporting mechanisms and encouraged them to take the needed steps in resisting, rejecting and reporting corruption at all times.

Chairman Conference of Principals, Francis Edward Koroma expressed delight for having an engagement with the ACC on issues that borders on their operations adding that the meeting will serve as a platform for knowledge sharing and guidance on their work. John Amadu Bangura, who spoke on behalf of the National Council of Head Teachers in Masiaka, also expressed similar sentiments and promised to work in consonant with the law for an improved system of learning in their schools.

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