Some students in the Upper East Region who were selected to participate in the quarterly ‘Anti–Corruption Assessment Quiz competition,’ organised last Friday in Bolgatanga, the regional capital, demonstrated in-depth knowledge on corruption.
The students from the Anafobisi Junior High and the Joakem Junior High Schools from the Bongo District were quizzed on questions ranging from the forms of corruption, various terms used in defining corruption, factors that give rise to corruption, effects of corruption and institutions that handle corruption issues among others.
Their exceptional performance attracted applause from the stakeholders including teachers and patrons, regional heads of department from the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), among others who attended the programme.
The event, organised by the National Catholic Secretariat (NCS), in collaboration with the NCCE and the Ghana Education Service (GES), formed part of the ‘I—Shame Corruption in Ghana Project,’ aimed at imbibing in the school children the spirit of fighting corruption.
The project funded by Strengthening Transparency, Accountability and Responsiveness (STAR–Ghana), through the pool of resources from the UKaid, Danida and DFID, had also developed corruption manual for schools, formed integrity clubs and engaged patrons for the clubs who use the corruption manual to engage the students on corruption at the club level.
The Executive Secretary of CRITAS Ghana, a charitable organisation formed by the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference, Mr Zan Akolgo, explained that the project was geared towards Inter-Faith Shaping Hearts, Attitudes and Mindset to end corruption in Ghana.
Mr Akolgo explained that the project implementation also involved alliance of diverse faith groups dubbed the ‘Forum for Action on Inclusion, Transparency and Harmony (FAITH) in Ghana’, adding that the National Catholic Secretariat was only providing and playing leadership roles.
He mentioned interfaith groups including the National Chief Imam, Ahmadiyya Moslem Mission, Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC), Christian Council of Ghana and the Federation of Muslim Women Association in Ghana, as some of the implementing partners.
The Executive Secretary stated that children were the most affected by corrupt practices and commended the GES, CHRAJ, the Department of Children and all other implementing partners for their effective collaboration in the implementation of the project and urged the partners to continue with the good work.
Mr Akolgo explained that the essence of the exercise was not to point fingers at corruption but to engage collectively to help fight the menace and called on GES to adopt the corruption manual, as part of its syllabus for teaching the students to enable them grow to become responsible citizens, devoid of corruption.
The Regional Director of the NCCE, Mr Pontius Pilate Baba Apaabey, commended the students and their patrons for their outputs and indicated that “I —-Shame Corruption in Ghana Integrity Clubs” established by the project in the schools was a powerful tool that could help mitigate the corruption canker in the country.
He said the NCCE would continue to partner in the implementation of the project, since it was in tandem with the NCCE programmes of ensuring that citizens become more responsible, to help contribute positively to national development.
FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, BOLGATANGA