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The Anti-Corruption Commission on Wednesday 21st March, 2012 engaged teachers and pupils of the Milton Comprehensive Senior Secondary School in Bo city. The event marked the continuation of the ‘Meet the School campaign’ which has been an activity undertaken by the commission to educate school pupils and teachers on the evils of corruption and enlist their support in the fight against this menace.
In his opening statement the Public Education Officer South, Mr. Wilfred Bangura reminded the pupils that their visit to the school was not new and thanked those teachers who facilitated that meeting on a very short notice. Mr. Bangura reiterated to the students about the role of teachers in shaping the academic destiny of pupils and emphasised that the pupils should accept them (teachers) as role models that will always stand out to prepare them for future leadership roles in the society. He stressed that pupils should feel part and parcel of good governance and embrace the fight against corruption at that very school going age. Mr. Bangura gave a literary meaning of corruption as ‘the abuse of entrusted power for private gain’. He opined that the ACC was established to lead the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone and stressed that school students should show keen interest in understanding the commission’s work in the country. Mr. Bangura said his dream was to see the teaching profession vibrant and noble as it used to be in the past so that those excellent standards that gave respectability and standards to the profession will be restored once again; and graduates will be willingly opt to serve as teachers.Mr Bangura concluded by saying it was not a one-off event but will be visiting the school from time to time to educate the pupils about updates in the fight against corruption in the region.
Giving his remarks, the Regional Manager South Mr. Mohamed Dumbuya admonished pupils to be responsible school boys and girls who should always bear in mind that they were going to be the future leaders on which the development and prosperity of Sierra Leone will depend.Mr. Dumbuya stated that the commission has the desire to enlist the support of school going pupils so that they will cultivate high moral standards and acquit themselves well in future public life. He emphasised the fact that the commission of course will always engage principals and head teachers to put in place mechanisms that will forestall teachers from perpetrating corrupt practices in the school setting.Mr. Dumbuya concluded by encouraging the pupils to be serious in their work and be bold to report to the ACC any incidence of corruption in both school and any other institution they suspected corrupt practices. He said the ACC continues to promote the policy of zero tolerance for corruption and therefore would need as many partners as possible in the fight against corruption.
The teachers and pupils appreciated the visit by shouting a big thank you and clapping their hands in excitement. They assured the ACC about their commitment towards the work of the commission.
In another engagement on Saturday17th March 2012, the Regional Manager addressed the Conference of Principals in Bo Library hall on a wide range of issues including certain corrupt practices prevalent in most schools in the country that had come to the attention of the ACC.Mr. Dumbuya cautioned principals who attended the conference for schools to shy away from corrupt acts like illegal admission of pupils in schools, payment of fees before collection of results, illegal sale of pamphlets to mention but a few. The manager however expressed his satisfaction over the resilience of some of the school authorizes to maintain high standards.
By: Wilfred Bangura, Public Education Officer South
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