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School heads warned against exams malpractice

The North-West Regional Manager of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has called on Principals and Head Teachers in Lungi and Kambia district to stand against examination malpractices and support the fight against corruption.

Addressing heads of primary and secondary schools at the St. Josephs Secondary School in Lungi and Red Cross hall in Kambia, Al-Hassan Sesay lamented that examinations malpractice continued to be one of the major causes for the fall in the standard of education, while reiterating the commission’s commitment in taking the necessary actions to curb it.

“The 2019 Amendment of the ACC Act makes examination malpractice a punishable offence with fifty million Leones on conviction or five years imprisonment. I want to urge school authorities to take serious actions to addressing this practice and also put in place mechanisms that will enhance best practice and foster a turnaround in the system,” he urged.

According to him, the meeting was convened to address issues of examination malpractices and use of fees subsidies and acknowledge the role of teachers in the development of the education sector.

Mr. Sesay stated that government provided school fee subsidies to significantly reduce the cost of schooling on parents and guardians, while at the same time improve access and quality.

“These funds are public funds and must be managed properly and efficiently. School heads are public officers and such funds should be utilized and managed in accordance with best practices and procedures,” he emphasized.

The Regionl Manager said the ACC requires the support of school administrators in enhancing best practices and accountability, adding that the country’s educational sector is at a considerable decline which requires collective efforts from the service providers and ACC to reverse the negative trend.

District Coordinator for the Free Quality School Education (FQSE) in Port Loko, Edward Williams, called on the heads of schools to support the FQSE as government has shown commitment to improving the quality of education in the country. He highlighted some anomalies in the recent school headcount conducted across the country, which according to him affected the payment of fees subsidies to most schools.

As public exams draws near, Mr. Williams cautioned them to desist from exams malpractice and announced that government has expressed commitment to increasing fees subsidies, particularly to primary schools.

Deputy Director of Education in Kambia, Ibrahim Yayah Fofana said the meeting will significantly help and guide school administrators in the management of their schools as government and the community are looking up to them to see an efficient management of public funds. He called on the heads of schools to be sincere and committed in the fight against examination malpractices, while cautioning them to be very careful not to come in conflict with the law in the discharge of their functions.

He called on the ACC to continue its public education engagement as a prevention mechanism in the fight against corruption.

Earlier, ACC Senior Public Education Officer, Sahid Mohamed Kamara said the engagement was to educate school authorities on the 2019 Amendment Act, guidelines on the use of fees subsidies and to solicit their support in addressing corrupt practices in schools.

Also, Margaret Macauley expressed gratitude to the ACC team for sensitizing them on various corruption issues and also guides them on the daily management of schools. She registered her assurance on behalf of colleagues to follow best practices and prioritize the fight against examination malpractices in both internal and external exams.

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